The Leisure of God
Oswald Chambers said, “Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry.” The first time I underlined this in my copy of My Utmost for His Highest, I was in the middle of waiting for an adoption that was dragging on and on and on…
I was waiting for an answer from God. I was waiting for Him to give me any answer— even a “no” seemed more tolerable than the waiting. For eight years my husband and I were in a perpetual state of “adoption limbo” and through all those years, I was in a frantic hurry. I was rushing to get everything finished, trying my best not to let another minute in an orphanage pass for the children we prayed to bring home. Paperwork was the centerpiece of our dining room table for much of that time, and it felt like a full time job that I needed to hurry to complete.
But waiting became a part of life for us. Our first adoption went rather quickly and smoothly. The two subsequent adoptions seemed exercises in futility. At one point, I was completing paperwork for all three adoptions at the same time, one post-placement and two in the works. The waiting seemed pointless to me. I was in a hurry, and I was pretty sure God should be in a hurry too. I had visions of children who needed a home and parents (one of them being me) who longed to fill their homes with the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Easy. This should be a total no-brainer. Why would God wait?
I still don’t know why God waits. Even though one of our adoptions took five years to complete and another failed after a five-year wait, I can see the beauty in the end. I can look at the results of both of those adoptions and see God’s glory. And yet, part of me wants to ask Him, “Why so slow?” Couldn’t quicker have still been beautiful? Maybe even more beautiful?
I’m fairly certain that “slow” is not a word to use with God. He simply can’t be slow because His timing is perfect, and how do you speed up perfect?
So Oswald Chambers gave me terminology that fit, a description that finally made sense to me. God is leisurely. He knows what He’s doing and when He’s going to do it. For Him, there is no reason to hurry. Surely He isn’t leisurely in the way we sometimes think of the word— tardily, lazily, too slow. He’s the true definition of leisurely— He’s deliberate. When we learn to trust His heart, it’s easier to rest in His leisure.
In my two girls, one adopted at thirteen months and the other as a three-year-old, I can see the benefits of His leisure that I didn’t ever expect. Sometimes I’m asked, “Don’t you wish you had gotten them earlier? Don’t you just wish you had had them with you when they were babies?” And I don’t. I truly don’t. Because they are who they are because of their life experiences— even the really hard ones. And who they are is perfectly who God wants them to be.