I remember the thrill surrounding me when as a little boy I would plant seeds. I would pull the weeds, dig up the soil, mix in mulch, put in the seed and water it. I just couldn’t wait for those little green leaves to poke their way through to the surface. My temptation was to help that seed along. A pat to the ground, a little more water, and maybe the addition of a little sign would help the little guy grow faster. I remember succumbing to the temptation of looking for the new leaves under the surface, as if I needed to help move the dirt out of the way. It was difficult to just leave those seeds alone and allow them to grow. I just couldn’t be still.
As I think about it, we are pretty much the same way when it comes to prayer to God. We submit a need, or a hurt to God and, as soon as we are finished, we begin to try to help God out. “Okay, now that I’ve told God what I need, how can I help Him out?” We have just entreated the Creator of the universe for aid, and yet still feel the need to give Him a hand. It is like we have told God he has the power and authority to take care of our situation, but we don’t recognize His wisdom to take care of it His way, or in His timing. We are an impatient lot, and our timetable is always a little more urgent than His.
The Israelites were the same the same way. God had to remind them to be still, to keep their hands out of the situation. Let Him work.
Psalms 46:8-11 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
God will take care of things, but they will be according to His plan, for His glory. Their job was to be still and know He is God, watch Him work. Their job was not to keep busy and help God out.
Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.” Our appointment is to be prepared for the battle. We are to be ready for what God is going to do in any situation. Be prepared to move when He says, “Go!” But God holds the victory, it is not of our doing.
Just like those seeds in the ground. They are not going to grow any faster if there is a sign in the ground, or we move some dirt out of the way so they can break through. Leave ‘em alone. Once you have “planted” prayers in heavenly soil, leave ‘em alone. God is the heavenly Gardener who will take it from there.
I saw a sticker once that summed it up nicely; “In the midst of the sound and the fury, a quiet resolve.” When you give it to God…GIVE IT TO GOD. He can handle it. Even in the middle of chaos, resolve to let Him work. Leave it alone and let Him deal with it, He is God after all. And when He does answer your prayer, be sure to give Him the credit. He deserves it.