I have been thinking about 'time' recently. More specifically, how our view of time is pretty warped in comparison to how God views time. Our view is incredibly fixed, limited and two dimensional. His is above history, space and the normal minutes, hours and days that we are confined to.
So often we think that He hasn't answered a prayer because it wasn't done when we wanted it or how we expected it to be done. As if we might have a better view over how things should pan out than He does!?
This morning I had the privilege of praying with a man in my church. This guy has been a Christian for longer than I have been alive, which made me feel very under-qualified for that particular role to be perfectly honest. He had shared moments before of how he has been following Jesus for over three decades, though none of his immediate family have yet to choose that path as well - something that understandably causes him great heartache.
I won't speculate on the hours he must have spent on his knees, crying out to God on behalf of his wife, children and grandchildren - but I'm betting that it's some considerable time.
It must be so easy to become disheartened and embittered towards God, when the journey of prayer has been such a long one - but he must be one of the most faithful and wise blokes I think I have ever met.
Honestly, you should see this guy's faith and resilience; it's staggering.
One thing I'm learning more and more - and I'm sure this guy would back me on this - the Lord ALWAYS answers your prayers. Always. If the outcome isn't what you had figured out in your mind's eye, then that's not to say the master plan isn't still being unfolded. Or 'The Master's Plan', more precisely.
The 'Yes', 'No', or 'Not yet' response you will always get from God comes from a 360 degree, eternal, galaxy-shifting point of view. Seconds, seasons, and setbacks to prayer scenarios are so finely tuned by Him that it'd blow your mind if He even revealed a glimpse of the bigger picture to you a fraction ahead of schedule.
This man may have been fighting for his loved ones in prayer for many, many years - but I know he wouldn't consider a moment of that prayer time as wasted time.