Featured Inspirational Stories

How to Find Peace When God’s Timing Isn’t Your Timing

God’s been teaching me a lesson.

But I’ve been slow to hear it. …or too stubborn. Or maybe a little of both.

Basically it comes down to this…

I’ve been saying/praying, “I want what I want, when I want it. What do I need to do to get it?”

God’s reply has been, “I’ll give you want you want when I want. Be content with where you are now.”

I’m not a big fan of His answer.

Doesn’t He know we don’t even have a home of our own? Doesn’t He know I’ve got some big goals and dreams (that He put in my heart) that don’t even look close to becoming a reality? Doesn’t He know that time is ticking away?

With all of the turmoil in my heart and mind I can still hear the answer very clear: He does know.

He knows it all. He knows my fears, worries, concerns. He knows my dreams, goals, and aspirations.

He knows.

He also knows what experiences I need to grow; to become the person I am meant to become. He sees the big picture and how my future will play out. He knows it all and wants it all for me.

He just wants me to have it at the best possible time for me.

The words that have been pressed on my mind and heart lately have been: surrender, faith, trust, and patience.

Don’t we all love those words?!

Last week I felt impatience in my morning prayers. Later that day, without looking specifically for it, I stumbled upon a talk by Robert C. Oaks called, “The Power of Patience”.

I knew it was God speaking to me.

In the talk Brother Oaks quoted Neal A. Maxwell who taught,

“Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His”.

That hit me.

My impatience is suggesting that “I know better than God does.” Which is the furthest from the truth. I do trust God. And I want to show Him I do.

Brother Oaks also brought up Job in the bible. If we ever lack patience in our circumstances, we can always read about Job to give us some needed perspective. Even after Job lost it all (his family, his wealth, his empire, his health…everything) he humbly and faithfully said,

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Woah. That’s patience. That’s trust.

Can I be as patient and trusting in the Lord as Job?

I’ve also been inspired by the words of Joel Osteen,

“In life, oftentimes we are waiting for something; waiting for a dream to come to pass, waiting to meet the right person, waiting for a problem to turn around. When things aren’t happening as fast as we would like, it’s easy to get frustrated. But you have to realize that the moment you prayed, God established a set time to bring the promise to pass.

God has a set time for your opportunity. There is a set time for that problem to turn around, a set time for your healing, your promotion, your breakthrough. It may be tomorrow, or next week, or five years from now. But when you understand the time has already been set, it takes all the pressure off. You won’t live worried, wondering when this is ever going to happen. You’ll relax and enjoy your life knowing that the promise has already been scheduled and your answer is on the way!”

I remember feeling especially impatient as I was serving a mission for our church in Houston, TX.

Me as a missionary.

No matter what we seemed to do, it felt like my companion and I couldn’t find anyone to help, anyone who wanted us to share our message with them. I wanted things to happen, to progress.

My prayers went something like this: “I want what I want, when I want it. What do I need to do to get it?” (sound familier?)

One night I was especially discouraged so my companion talked me into going to our Mission President’s home to chat with him. He lived just down the street from where we were serving. When we arrived, I sat in his office and he asked me what was on my mind.

I laid it all out for him…I felt useless, frustrated, and ineffective. I explained that I felt like I wasn’t doing any good. That I felt inadequate and discouraged.

After my little pity party confession I have to admit, I expected him to tell me how sorry he was I was feeling that way. That I was right to be so discouraged. That life on a mission really is tough.

But no.

He didn’t coddle me one ounce.

Instead, he looked at me and said, “Sister Perkes, how long is your mission?”

“18 months”, I answered.

“Yes, 18 months”, he agreed. “And about how long is your life?”

“Um, probably about 80 years.”, I said.
“Yes, or perhaps even longer”, he responded.

And then he got quiet and looked directly at me, “You can do this. 18 months is nothing.”

I looked right back at him, chuckled a bit and said, “Yes, I can do this.”

I needed that gentle + firm reminder. I needed to be woken up to the truth of what was in front of me. Which is…God’s got us! He really does. We may not see how it will all work out (or even see so much as a glimmer) but God does.

The truth is and will forever be: God knows you specifically. He loves you.
Don’t ever doubt that for a second. You are His cherished child. No matter what happens, don’t ever stop talking to God. Be still. Listen. He is waiting to talk with you.

And if all you’re hearing is silence, take that as a time to show your trust, allow faith to be your guide. Because He always has a reason for what He’s doing.