But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:8-9
Sometimes God answers my prayers at such a slow but steady pace that I don’t even recognize He’s answering them. My idea of what would glorify God the most usually looks more like the parting of the Red Sea than the transformation of the Israelites through 40 years in the wilderness. But both represent acts of God for the good of His people and His own glory.
God is more interested in molding me into a person with a deep relationship with Him than He is in showing off His power. Human nature is such that we value more highly that which we sweat over and invest ourselves in than that which comes to us easily. So why should I be surprised that God often requires me to diligently pursue the things that I desire even when He longs to give them to me? An instant answer may make a good story, but God has His sights set on a much deeper, longer lasting glory through our relationship with Him.
I recently approached a number of people looking for someone to help with a need I was trying to meet. No success. Ultimately the need was met, but not as a result of my efforts. Rather than frustrating over my “wasted” effort, I had to smile as I recognized that my faithful pursuit over several weeks — requiring proactive conversations that were uncomfortable for an introvert like me — was what pleased God. He wasn’t concerned with whether or not I was “successful” — He already had a plan for meeting the need. His goal was to stretch me for His glory.
I’ve asked Him to change me in ways that bring Him glory. He’s doing that, but using a process that looks more like aging wine than instant oatmeal.