Hard Takes Time

“Why now, after all this time?”  You seem to be receiving that for which you have desired from God, for a very long time.  You have lived your life believing God’s promises, enduring through much discouragement along the way.  Now it seems that the promise is here and you find yourself doubting.


How many of us have asked God this very same question?  Maybe you have been praying for something, for a very long time?  Maybe you have been standing on a promise of God and it just doesn’t seem to be happening for you?  Whatever the case, spend any time as a follower of Jesus and you will quickly come to realize that your desired timing and God’s timing don’t always line up. 


Tom Petty put it this way: “The waiting is the hardest part.”  Why all the waiting with God?  Why did Abraham and Sarah have to wait twenty-five years between being promised children to actually having a child?  Why did the Hebrew people have to wait over four hundred years, as slaves in Egypt?  Why hasn’t Jesus already returned?  These questions, and others just like them, plague the consciousness of followers the world over.       


“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14) This is your question, as you wait for that which you are waiting.  As a follower of Jesus, your answer to this
question is “No”.  For this is the understood faith stance of the possibility of God.  God can.  For nothing is impossible for God. That’s the possibility of faith.  So, now it all comes to down to timing. When will God can, become God did?


This isn’t just your struggle.  You aren’t experiencing something new in your struggles with waiting on God.  Genesis was written in the Hebrew language.  And
the Hebrew speaking people struggled with the exact same thing.  So much so that they even patterned their language in such a way to bring meaning to this struggle for themselves, and for you. 


In Genesis 18:14 the English word “hard” is the Hebrew word “pala” (paw-law).  Yet, in Exodus 34:10, “pala” is also translated as “wonders”.  The same Hebrew word means, in English, both “hard” and “wonderful”.  How the Hebrew people answered your question, “Why now, after all this time?” was to understand “hard” and “wonderful” in the exact same way. 


Is what you are waiting for hard?  Is what you are waiting for wonderful?  I sure hope so.  If not, then why are you waiting for it?  Hebrew invites you to rethink Tom Petty’s lyrics – “The waiting is the most wonderful part.”   


If you were to understand that what you are waiting for is both hard and wonderful, would that change your patience perspective?  Would you be willing to cut God some slack?  Would you be willing to surrender your desired time frame?


There is nothing wonderful in this life that wasn’t hard to achieve or produce.  This is one of the complexities of life.  You might not perceive how hard something was to achieve or to make happen, because you weren’t there to experience it.  All you see is the wonderful, the result.  The culmination of the time, pressure and work that has produced something wonderful.   


You see the Grand Canyon.  You haven’t seen the centuries of erosion and tectonic uplift that created it.  You see the Cinderella story.  You don’t see the years of training, working and practicing that went into their success.  You hear of the over-night success.  You don’t hear of the years and years of trying, failing, getting back
up and trying again. 



Our culture, our language, separates “hard” and “wonderful”, as if they are two different things.  Hebrew, in response to their need to answer our question of “Why now,
after all this time?”, uses one word “pala” to translate both “hard” and “wonderful”.  For they realized that everything that is wonderful is also hard.  And hard takes