Is God “sometimey”? What about moody? Or even capricious? Does He ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Since He never sleeps or slumbers, does He ever feel listless? Can His equilibrium ever get out of whack? Does He always operate in a state of emotional balance? Does the God of heaven fit these profiles?
Have you ever experienced an unusual lull in response to a heartfelt prayer to God? Have you ever felt like God should have moved faster in your situation? Some see God’s delay as a sign that He is not interested in their affairs or even worse, He doesn’t really care about us at all.
Because we live in a world that wants everything immediately if not sooner, our perspective of God can be quite twisted. When He doesn’t respond to the emergencies in our lives to our satisfaction and within our timeframe, we look upon the One who sits on the highest throne with a jaundiced eye. With disappointments and heartaches so prevalent in our lives God gets the blame often.
When Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha became deathly ill, they sent an urgent message to Jesus. Because of their close ties, they were certain that He would arrive the day after he received the message, if not the same day. Surprisingly, the One who had eaten at their table, spent the night in their guest room and had shared heavenly truths with them did not see a need to rush to their side. Confused and heartbroken by his delay, both sisters made the same statement to Jesus at different times, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Mary and Martha could not understand how Lazarus, “who He loved” fell to the bottom of Jesus’ to-do-list. It made no sense to them that it took so long for Jesus to arrive to their home. But the scriptures gives us a clue to what appears to be God’s fickleness. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Paul wrote, “We see through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
These sisters wanted Lazarus to be raised off of His sickbed, but Jesus wanted to raise him off of his “cooling board.” They wanted Jesus to heal the sick, yet Jesus wanted to raise the dead. They wanted Jesus to do something He had done before, however, He wanted to do something He hadn’t done yet. They thought His power was limited, but Jesus knew His power was unlimited. “
Time-Tested and Time-Released
When God doesn’t respond in accordance with your preconceived ideas, don’t look down in despair, look up in hope, to the One who made heaven and earth. He has something bigger and better in mind. God is not fickle, He is awesome. It won’t always appear so during the season of waiting, but when it comes to pass, your joy will be greater than ever imagined.
Surely God does not delight in being misunderstood, but like any mature parent, He understands that not answering prayers in the affirmative is best for the one who wants to hear a yes. Also, what may be perceived to be a no is often times, “not yet.” Our judgment of God is often based on our limited understanding and our lack of knowledge. In our arrogance, we believe that our perception of God is completely accurate. In our disappointment, we are convinced that the way we see God is surely the way He is.
God is not fickle, He’s all-seeing. (1 Chronicles 16:9)
God is not fickle, He knows the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:9)
God is not fickle, He knows what’s in the darkness and the light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)
God is not fickle, He sits the highest, therefore He sees the farthest. (Ephesians 1:20-21)
God is not fickle, He only gives good and perfect gifts. (James 1:17)
God is not fickle, His hatred of sin does not lessen His desire for your salvation. (2 Peter 3:9)
God is not fickle, He is love.(1 John 4:8)