13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16“Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
Genesis 8:13-17 NIV (New International Version)
Imagine that you are Noah and you have been on a wooden hand-made cruise ship for a long period of time, accompanying you was your family and every animal that ever walked on the earth. Conditions are cramped and uncomfortable, but you are grateful because you have been spared by a flood sent by God that wiped out every human being on earth. Now the rains have stopped, you sent a dove to find out if there was any dry ground. After a few failed attempts, the dove returned with a plucked olive leaf. Later on, from a window of the ark, you see the water going down; everyone is filled with anticipation, they want off the boat too! Finally the ark lands on dry ground, there is great celebration because the flood was over. Yet you tell your family that it was not yet time to leave the ark. Your family is shocked and they probably believe that you have probably lost your mind (after all you are 601 years old)! Nevertheless your family obeys your word. What was going through Noah’s mind as he waited for two months in the ark, even though the ground was dry?
Have you ever waited in anticipation for something and when it finally comes you are told to wait? I believe every one of us has had an experience like that once in a while and we often ask why we still need to wait? Noah’s family probably thought the same thing, the evidence was all around them, the ground was dry, why must we wait? The answer is found in verses 15 and 16; Noah was waiting on the Lord to say it was okay to get off.
Too often people, when they see an opportunity, jump ahead of what God would have them do. They use their own judgement, based on their observations, to determine whether the time is right or not. Such actions without consulting God could have dire circumstances. For example suppose the Lord leads to make a life change (getting married for instance). You get very excited when you meet that special someone. After being together for sometime, you believe that she is the one you; but instead of asking the Lord about it, you take the initiative and proposed to her. To your horror, she is not interested in you like that and you are heartbroken.
Such a disappointment could have been avoided had you sought the Lord’s guidance. Noah understood this and decided to live his life according God’s timetable and not his own. He recognized that the Lord saw the big picture and knew when the time was right to do certain things.
Those who put their faith in the Lord are called to wait on Him, but what happens when He takes His time and does not answer right away and opportunities come and go? You must still wait on His will regardless. You and I live in a culture which wants instant gratification; I call this a microwave civilization. The faith follower in Christ you and I understand that God does not work like that. Instead He works more like a slow cooker, taking the time to make sure the thing He has for you is perfect. What is the difference between microwave gratification and slow cooked gratification? You appreciate the slow cooked thing more because you had to wait for it while the microwave one is taken and then forgotten.
How long must you wait for God to act? As long as it takes because, as I said earlier, you do not know what the Lord is putting in place so that when the time is right, it would be good for you. God delays not because He is cruel; far from it. God knows that if something is given to us instantly, we take it for granted and do not appreciate it. On the other hand, when we are forced to wait, it builds our desire for it.
Waiting is never fun, especially when you see all the evidence telling you to go for it. However the vision that you and I see of a situation is limited by our own perspective. It is kind of like waiting for meat to cook, it may look good on the outside, but it is still raw in the inside and would not be good if it was eaten right then. The Lord however knows when the time is right, when the meat is well cooked and it is time to sink our teeth into it. Therefore let us stop and pray to the Lord, that He will give us patience and an ear to listen carefully His quiet voice. Good things come to those who wait on the Lord.