Reading in Matthew last week about Jesus' crucifixion, I noticed these verses (Matthew 27:41-43):
So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”The priests said that since Jesus trusts in God, then He should ask God to deliver him NOW. In my economy, I think of "now" as a happy word, as the antidote to "wait". I trust in God (imperfectly, but I do). So, how about I get what I think I need now? However, if God had rescued Jesus from the cross at that moment, all would have been lost. The crucifixion was God's answer to our sin and our only hope of salvation.
I have been thinking a lot about God's glory, lately, as I have been reading (very slowly, in small bites) John Piper's "Desiring God". God's greatest glory was to be achieved a few days after the crucifixion. Had God removed Jesus from the cross right then, the great glory of resurrection and triumph over sin would have been lost.
Maybe, just maybe, the reason that we wait, even as we trust God, is so that God's greater glory can be realized. Had Joseph been released from the dungeon earlier, all of Israel could have been lost. Had Elizabeth become pregnant in her youth, she would not have been carrying John the Baptist to herald the arrival of the Messiah. Had Jesus healed Lazarus before he died, the miracle of a body four days dead, emerging from the tomb still wrapped in grave clothes (John 11) would have been missed.
God is about His glory, not my convenience. The challenge of my faith is to believe that the reason that I'm waiting (for the job, for the healing, for the husband, for the baby, for the reconciliation, for the answer, for. . . whichever thing each of us waits for) is to achieve God's greater glory, and that seeing His glory will be worth the wait.