God’s Timing and Our Obedience

As I am fond of saying, words can foster understanding and they can hinder it.

Take for example the versicle and response from Compline in the Book of Common Prayer: “O God, make speed to save us. / O Lord, make haste to help us.”

“make speed to… make haste to”

What in the world do we mean when we say those things?!

Fast (which is what those two words imply) and the words faithful and obedient seldom go together in the same sentence. What do we mean when we pray using the words “haste” and “speed”??

Take another example: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt. 6.10)?? Honestly, can any of what follows that sentence in the Lord’s Prayer rightly characterized by or associated with the word “fast”?!

——————–

“If you should beseech God for a thing and He is slow to hearken to you speedily, do not grieve, for you are not wiser than God. This happens to you either because you are no worthy to obtain you request, or because the pathways of your heart do not accord with your petitions, or because you have not yet reached the measure wherein you could receive the gift you ask for. We must not rush onwards to great measures before the time, lest God’s gift be debased by our hasty reception of it. For anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost, whereas everything found with toil is also kept with careful watching.”
St. Isaac the Syrian

“No bodily or spiritual activity without pain or toil ever brings fruit to him who practices it, because ‘the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.’ (Mt. 11.12)
St. Gregory of Sinai

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One thought on “God’s Timing and Our Obedience

  1. Often the passage of much time proves that God was far wiser than I, that the promise yielded His desire for me, but fulfillment of the promise would have led to disaster.

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