It was one of those moments that every mother dreads. I stood in my friend Kelly’s driveway balancing a sleeping baby in one arm and a duffle bag in the other. Abigail is crying because she doesn’t want to leave and Bethany has decided she is going to throw herself down in the middle of the driveway because she wants mac and cheese “right now”. This is no little temper tantrum. This is all out screaming, yelling, and kicking. I actually expected her to start foaming at the mouth she was acting so crazy.
Nothing I said could convince her to get up and get into the van. All she could focus on was her immediate want and the fact that it wasn’t being met. She wanted mac and cheese and she wasn’t willing to wait for it. What she couldn’t understand was that in her protesting she was actually causing herself to have to wait longer for what she wanted.
If we are honest with ourselves, haven’t we all had moments like that with God? We pray and ask Him for something and all is great when we can see our prayer answered right away. What happens, though, when it seems like God is not answering our prayer or the prayer is not answered as quickly as we would like? I know I have definitely had my throw-myself-down-in-middle-of-the-driveway-kicking-and-screaming moments with God.
What we so often fail to understand is that El Olam, the Eternal God, does not view time the way that we do. El Olam has no beginning and no end, for Him one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like one day. God has a perfect time to put into place His perfect plan for our lives.
One of my favorite examples of this comes, again, from the story of Abraham and Sarah. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Abraham was already seventy-five years old when El Olam made this promise to him. You can imagine that both Abraham and Sarah thought that God would give them an heir very soon. But they had to wait twenty-five long years before they would see the long hoped for fulfillment of God’s promise.
During the waiting time they also threw their own little tantrum and decided to take matters into their own hands. Instead of waiting on God, Sarah gave her servant Hagar to her husband so that he could conceive a child and heir with her. As we saw on day 4 of our study, this created a huge mess that could have been avoided had they just waited on El Olam, the Eternal God.
My husband heard it explained like this once. When we are watching a parade go by, we know what has just passed, we see what is right in front of us and we have a glimpse of what is coming. But El Olam, He is in the blimp above the parade. He sees it all at one time from beginning to end. Because of this, He knows exactly when to allow things to enter our lives in order to accomplish His ultimate purposes, that all men should come to know Him and that we would become more like Christ.
So the next time you are tempted to throw yourself down and start yelling for the mac and cheese, remember that El Olam is working His perfect plan for your life and will give you what you need exactly when you need it.
Olam is a Hebrew word that occurs more than four hundred times in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is translated as “eternal,” “everlasting,” “forever,” “lasting,” “ever,” or “ancient.” It refers to the fullness of the experience of time or space. The title El Olam (El o-LAM), meaning “Eternal God” or “Everlasting God,” appears only four times in Scripture. The word is applied to God and His laws, promises, covenant, and kingdom. (Ann Spangler, Names of God Study Bible)