My beloved microwave has been with me now for 14 years— Large and increasingly non-energy efficient…by todays standards…yet it is still near and dear to my heart. The digital numbers are gone and no longer does it encourage me to “Enjoy!” after the popcorn is popped!
It’s a skill to know when it will beep, how much time is left or even what numbers are punched in! Yet it still works, still heats my food, still defrosts my meat and steams my coffee so I can’t pass it over for a newer model….we’ve been together for too long!
We love our microwaves. They are fast, quick, and within seconds, our cold coffee can be piping hot again and the universe set right.
There are events in our lives we would love to zap and set right again…
- strained relationships
- financial struggles
- goals and events
I was reading the other day in Acts 9 about Saul’s conversion.
- (verses 1-2) Saul threatens Christians
- (vs 3-8) Saul encounters Jesus
- (vs 9-19) Ananias comes…Saul’s sight is regained (physically and spiritually)
- (vs 19-31) Saul begins preaching Jesus as the Messiah; Barnabas stands up for Saul and now Saul is accepted as one of the apostles.
Within a few verses, Saul goes from one who persecuted the Christians to their biggest promoter. He is now the newest up and coming sought after preacher. Everyone ‘friends’ him on Facebook. His profound words are retweeted. He’s booked at all the leadership conferences as the main speaker. It’s like his life was “microwaved”, “zapped” and his career path was set right in the universe.
Wouldn’t we love for that to happen in our lives. It’s like a sitcom. Problem arises… a magic fix happens and everything is set right within a matter of 22 minutes. Our culture tells us this is how life works.
Even as Christians, we take the Bible a chapter at a time and read how everyone’s problems are solved quickly as verse unfolds verse. Their careers and relationships blossom. Yet when we take a closer look and do some research, we see this wasn’t a quick path for Saul-the persecutor of Christians to Paul – the mega church leader.
In Galatians 1:13 – 2:10, Saul/Paul writes his own account of his journey.
- (v. 14) Saul advances in Judaism way beyond people of his own age
- (v 15-16) Jesus is revealed to Saul – life changed!
- (v 17) Saul travels to the desert (Arabia)…what the desert???
- (v 18) After 3 years…He travels to Jerusalem but didn’t hang with the apostles (not quite in the “in-group” yet)
- (v 22) He’s still unknown to the churches of Judea
- (chapter 2:1) Then after FOURTEEN YEARS, Paul travels to Jerusalem again…this time introduced by Barnabas.
WHAT????? FOURTEEN YEARS!!!! That’s a long wait, a long time…that’s how long I’ve had my microwave!
For me, when I think 14 years— that’s from my birth to my driving age! A lot happens in that span of years!
I had imagined Paul’s life zapped, microwaved and his universe set right.
In our world of fast-moving, noncommercial, Netflix living, we forget God has His own time-table. In fact, He sits outside of time. The Eternal God, who was before the beginning and will be after the end, doesn’t line up His work according to our desired time scheme.
We can look at others and see their lives as moving right along. Their problems solved…Their lives…Their careers are all together right. Yet, sometimes, we miss the back story. We don’t see their time in the desert or their years of rejection, isolation, and hard work.
This I believe and trust in…
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth…He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else…He marks out their appointed times in history and where they are to live. ~ Acts 17:24-26 (NIV & NIRV)
My life…your life…is in His hands. He appointed our time and our location. In fact…all the days ordained (planned) for me and you were written in His book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
So when we get discouraged, thinking our lives are moving too slow…career path not working out like we planned…or circumstances are not what we thought…
Rest in the promise of His timing, His provision and His way.