Tuesday August 30, 2011
There have been many times in my life where God has called me to do something or to have a relationship with someone, or to minister somewhere, and I have clearly heard the call and have gone. The problem comes when He puts us in situations, or with people who are difficult to deal with. I have found myself wondering how long I am going to have to endure this person or this situation before the Lord calls me to move on. I was in the ministry when one of my beloved leaders decided he needed to move elsewhere and another person was put in his place and needless to say it was a difficult situation that I needed to adjust to and learn from. But my question was, “How long Lord?” One of my first jobs involved pumping gas, changing oil, and fixing truck tires in a gas station that I loved. The problem centered around me making $.25 per hour. The owner couldn’t pay me more so I worked the job because I loved the work, but I wondered “How long” I was going to be making such a small salary. My dad stepped in and got me a $1.00 raise. There have been times when God has put you with a difficult person such as an in-law and you wonder “How long Lord?” will you have to put up with that person. Or it may be a job that you despise, but you have a job and you are making a living and you ask, “How long Lord?”
When Isaiah was called by God to go to a rebellious people, he asked the same question to the Lord, “Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And He answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.” (Isaiah 6:12 NIV) When God answers the question of “How long?” are we willing to be obedient to His answer. I get the sense from Isaiah is that he saw the ministry that God had for him to do to be hard and burdensome and he was looking at his own limitations for the task at hand. Whether it be a relationship or a business or a ministry, we don’t have the resources or patience to endure like He wants us. We need to look to His resources for what He is calling us to do and nor our own resources.
On this journey, when we ask “How long” we need to be willing to hear from Him and follow His steps in carrying out His plan.