Impatient with God

I am feeling rather annoyed about how slowly God seems to be moving these days.

“Sanctification” is one of those fancy terms for the change Christians allegedly undergo over time, the process by which God helps them turn from sin (also known as repentance) and turn to him (a.k.a. consecration). It’s the same thing as spiritual formation.

The point of this process is that Christians should become better over time. They should start to think more and act more like Christ. Their souls should turn from loving the things of this world to living as if this world isn’t so important. And they should fall more in love with God. 

So, here’s what bugs me:  Why does it take so long???

Jesus paid for sins in an instant on the cross, enduring innumerable eternities of hell in a moment.

If God could take care of sin in a day, why does it take so danged long for Him to work in me to get rid of one bad habit, or one stinky motive, or one bitter attitude? 

I am sad to say that after a near lifetime, I may never change in many many ways.

This inquring mind wants to know: Why not?

God spoke the universe into existence. So, why does He take so long to change me?  I mean, He has the power to do it a heck of a lot faster.

I don’t know why.

But it irritates me.

Especially when I’m waiting for someone else to change.

Well, I’ll file it under “all things that come to pass, He does for His own glory.”  (my paraphrase of answer to question 7 of the Westminster shorter catechism)

And, besides, I really will change in an instant… one day.  As the apostles said:

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

Until then,

…we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Dear Lord: Thank you that one day, you will change me in an instant, getting rid of all the yuck. Yea! It will happen when I see your face. Maybe if I gaze more often at your beauty now, I can speed up the process here on earth. In any case, help me to be patient with your timing. I know it’s for my good even if I don’t like it. And it’s for Your glory. Oh, if you don’t mind, could you hasten the process in the lives of some of my friends? You know who I am talking about. Thanks. Amen.

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9 thoughts on “Impatient with God

  1. Wow, you sound exactly like that guy in the Bible; let’s see what was his name; oh yeah, Paul.

    He considered himself to be a “wretched man” and it looks to me like he had many of the same thoughts that you do.

    Remember, Jesus didn’t let Peter drown. Even though we take our eyes off of Him, he is always there to lend a hand.

    Think of your Christian walk as just that. A walk. Toward Christ. If we are heading toward Him, and are doing the things He did while on earth; praying, reading the Bible, surrounding Himself with other believers for support; then we can at the very least have assurance of eternal life. Maybe not a good life here (John the Baptist) but a perfect one there.

  2. Sometimes it helps to look at divine logic that says.. God’s time is not the same as our time.

    Only sometimes, though, unfortunately. 🙂

  3. Great post. I think every believer who has ever struggled (which would mean every believer) can relate to your thoughts and feelings. I’m a little puzzled by your first commenter, I think he/she didn’t correctly understand the your literary inflection. But that happens sometimes with the written word.

  4. I SO appreciate your humor and your honesty. Thank God that he knows our weakness, that nothing surprises or shocks Him and that we are at the same time more sinful than we ever imagined but more loved than we ever dared hope!

    As Buechner said, if there were no room for doubt there’d be no room for me.

    Amen to that!

    Sally

  5. Pingback: Got Fruit? » Blog Archive » "O" Man!

  6. Funny, I’ve been thinking along the same line myself lately. As soon as God reveals to me some funky attitude I have, I adjust and think… “Ok, that’s been addressed, I’m good”.

    Then, God clearing His throat says: “Uh, uh, dude!?!?, Are you gonna seriously continue doing that after what I just revealed to you!?!”

    I guess the point is that I/we have a lot more sin issues than we acknowledge or are aware of, and instead of just blasting us with a 10 mile long checklist, The Lord gracefully reveals over time, bit by bit what we are ready to handle, to keep us from going into shock. 🙂

    Grace and peace be with you all.

    Longing: You know, Christoper, you make a great point. Perhaps one of the reasons God takes so long is that we couldn’t handle what He could show us if He did it any faster. We really have no idea how deep our sin is: the Cross is the measure, but we don’t really get it. Maybe if we saw it all too fast, we’d vaporize or something! Plus, there are layers of sin. It takes time to repent of acting out in various ways before we get to the root of the matter. God knows exactly how to get us there. Sigh. I still wish it were faster.

  7. Luther would be proud! I like this line in particular:

    “Especially when I’m waiting for someone else to change.”

    Isn’t that the truth. My own spirituality is one thing, but the people around me. Whew! Sanctification and glorification are sure a lot messier than I (in my overly platonist mind) would have hoped.

    Thank God for the vulgar earthiness of Luther! (And his not-so-distant Hebrew ancestors who trekked across a dusty wilderness.)

  8. I’m not even sure how to respond to this post… but perhaps you also want to repent of your attitude towards GOD… It is written, you shall not tempt the LORD your GOD. Who are you to make demands of the One who created you?

    And perhaps this change you’re looking for has not yet happened because you still have not fully committed yourself to GOD. You need to commit yourself to HIM before the change can occur. This new person comes about when GOD’s Holy Spirit begins to abide with you, but the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in an unclean temple.

    Only you and GOD know what things you need to confess and turn over to him. But it would appear that you may also want to consider praying for patience and humility.

    Fear HIM and respect HIM. HE owes you nothing, but you… you owe HIM everything.

    Longing: I completely agree with you, Lavrai. We owe God nothing. He is the sovereign creator God who, by His mere nod, could destroy the universe. And would do so apart from His mercy. I merely reflect the feelings many of us harbor in our hearts, but dare not verbalize. And exaggerate these thoughts with humor to make the point.

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