If you had just one wish what would it be? I have played the wishing game many times in my life. There were times that my one wish would be for me to hit a baseball better. I felt that if I could just hit that little round ball that my life would be so much easier. But, looking back at my life, I can see that wish was not a wish that would have ended all wishes. It was what I thought I wanted more than anything in my life ever at the time but my life had been pretty short up until that point and that is one of those wishes that would have just led to more wishes.
I remember being in grade school and junior high wishing I was taller. I wished I was better looking with straighter teeth. I wished I was stronger. I wished I could stop being so angry and losing my temper. All of these wishes would have left me wishing for more.
I have wished that I didn’t make so many mistakes, that I was not so stubborn and hard-headed, that it wasn’t so hard to pay the bills and that I had nicer things that didn’t break down so much. I have wished for job security and wealth. I have wished that the government did a better job and that politicians would actually take the best interest of the country to heart. None of these wishes would solve all my problems and change my address to the nicest street in Utopia.
I have even wished God would do a better job taking care of me. I have wished he moved faster and made more sense. I have wished for peace and happiness to swarm down out of the heavens and envelop me. I have wished that loved ones could live just a little longer. I have wished that justice would prevail and evil would be vanquished.
I have wished and wished and wished and sometimes the wishes were extremely selfish and sometimes they were good, honorable wishes. But they were just wishes.
I suppose if I could make just one wish now, it would be to have a clear picture of what God was up to. The problem with that is that I still wouldn’t quite understand that big picture and I would, no doubt, want to offer my sage advice. But if I could see what God was doing, I would be much more at ease when things got crazy and overwhelming around me.
The big mistake I am making here is that God is showing me quite a bit about what he does and I tend to ignore it for the most part. Maybe, when I have gleaned everything there is to know about God there is to know from the bible, the book that I have barely scratched the surface of in my fifty-some-odd years of life, God will show me more.
So when life hands me everything except what I want, when it gets harder just when I can’t take anymore, when I bend to the point of breaking and the load gets heavier, I need to get to know God a little more and stop investing in wishing for what I think I need and hoping for what God promises to give me.
This change in thinking is both subtle and drastic at the same time. It seems I am still rubbing a lamp and wishing for what probably won’t come in the times of crisis but I am actually shifting the focus from myself and what I can’t do to God and what he will do. Wishing is the equivalent of bowing to worthless idols and asking for help and hoping is bowing before God and getting help.
With God, help is always, always on the way. I may not see it coming. Things may get worse before they get better. I may at times face the impossible. But God has never lost track of me, fallen asleep on the job or forgotten my plight. He has a purpose and reason for what he is doing and he will do it, even though I may not understand how this can possibly work for good I can hope that it will. Why should I hope for these things? Because God will keep his promises. He will. He always has and always will.
2 Peter 3:8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
I must not forget this one thing…I often forget it even though the bible directly tells me not to. God is not bound by time as we are and his timing is perfect. Ours marches on at the same pace no matter what. A second is always a second and an hour is always an hour. But God can create worlds in a second. Time is irrelevant to him and he rules over it.
As I read this scripture for the billionth (my mom told me a million times not to exaggerate) time, I noticed something that I have overlooked in this scripture. It is almost like someone snuck in and added it while I was sleeping. He is being patient for my sake. He isn’t slow. He is taking me into account and making me and those I come in contact with as I impatiently demand God to fix my current mess. It takes time for me to start to actually seek the will of a savior instead of feeling like an entitled consumer of grace.
Today will be a long day. There will be times that I may find myself wishing. I pray that I quickly realize the futility of wishing and see the joy and peace of hoping that will help carry me through the day. If I do, when my head hits the pillow tonight, the last thought that wanders through my head will be, “God is good to me.”