There are days when my life feels so painfully slow. The times past when it all felt vibrant or active seems so far away that I almost can’t remember them. It can feel like Jesus is molasses. That my life is stuck in neutral with nowhere to go. I know the right answer here. My life isn’t slow. There is always much going on in it and inside of me, even if from an outside view it appears so…well…slow.
I am tempted in those moments and days, sometimes those weeks or months (or years), to view the slowness of my life as Jesus’ abandonment of me. I think and feel that if I can’t readily identify His work in and with my life in the terms I expect, then He must not be present. Must not be pleased with Me. Must have abandoned me. Must not love or want me.
I am learning that slowness isn’t the same as abandonment. On the contrary, His slowness in my life is often a sign of His deep work in my heart. Of His very near presence.
An earthquake, the power to move and shape continents, appears sudden and random to us on the outside. But it is actually the result of years of subtle, gradual, inexorable movement and foundational shifting that takes place under the surface. The build-up is hidden. The speed and power of an earthquake is predicated upon a prolonged season of perceived slowness.
Sanctification works in a similar way. We want the spiritual earthquake…the change now. We resist the tension and time required to move the truly big things in our heart.
Slowness doesn’t mean nothing is happening. It doesn’t mean we’ve been abandoned. It might mean there are things going on underneath our sight lines that are so big, they need time to develop fully. Then, when the shaping forces with in us have reached their fulfillment… the speed of things just might take our breath away, just might change the landscape of our lives so suddenly or dramatically that we are utterly amazed and profoundly delighted.
I am learning that God’s slowness may actually be a sign of His favor. Of His purposes. Of His intentional movement. Because He isn’t working on small things in me, but the continental.
And if I can learn to wait on Him, to cooperate with His work in my life for which time has no substitute…I just might be utterly amazed and profoundly delighted by the results.
2 Pet. 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.