by Lt. Colonel Evelyn Hunter –
On a recent walk through my neighborhood, I passed a house in which the windows were open and I could hear voices coming from inside. Actually, I didn’t hear the initial comment, but heard what I thought was a response. I presume the response came from the mom, as I heard a woman’s voice say, “Be patient! I can help each of you, but only one at a time.”
I think that she was conveying to all those wanting her help that she cared about each of them and was ready and willing to help. She was also conveying that as much as she was willing to give of herself, she was also faced with her own limitations. While she indicated her willingness to contribute to her young, she also expressed an expectation for them.
As I continued my walk, I thought about God. God certainly conveys to all who want his help that he cares for them and is ready and willing to help. He also has expectations for his children. I found myself feeling great joy, however, that God does not have the limitations of humanity! God is not limited to helping us one at a time! Nor is he limited to dealing with one thing at a time! He is willing and able to help all who call upon him, whenever they call and without regard to their location when they call.
I am overwhelmed by the difference between me and my Father God. He truly is beyond my understanding. When I pray to God, I admit that I do not think about the millions of others who are praying to him at the very same moment; I do not wonder to which of the millions praying he will listen, nor which will receive an answer to his or her prayer. I am much more focused on giving expression to my offering of prayer, knowing that he is listening and hearing me.
God is able to hear each and every prayer and is able to provide the answer which is needed at that moment by the individual offering the prayer. It matters not which continent, which country, which city, what location; he hears and responds to every prayer. We are to bring to him our cares, our burdens whether small or large, any time, any place, and he will give us rest. He wants us to learn from him. (Matt 11:28,29)
Too often, I try to fit God into my understanding. I forget that he is without limitations, while I am quite limited and restricted; I forget that he is able to be everywhere at once, while I am limited by time and space. I am able to deal with a limited volume; he is without limit in the number of matters or issues with which he can help.
While I struggle with my efforts of understanding God–who he is and the impact he has in my life–he patiently waits for me to come to him and bring him my cares, my burdens, my concerns. God has been patient since he created man; since he bought man by the death of Jesus on the cross; since the Holy Spirit descended to live in us helping us to be all that God intended.
Recently I saw the movie, “The Horse Whisperer.” There was one scene which fascinated me and helped me to think about the patience of God.
The main character, Tom Booker, was trying to help an injured horse. The horse got out of the corral and galloped into the field. Booker walked into the field, stooped down, and waited. The waiting game began. In the event that you have not seen the film, the horse had been badly hurt. He did not die, nor did anyone end his agony. Booker was simply trying to help the horse.
Now in the field, the horse was some distance away and standing still; Booker watched and waited. The hours of the day moved forward. In one scene, I thought that one of them had moved, but which one! Another view of the scene, and I realized that Booker had not moved, the horse had. The horse had been around people before it had been hurt and scarred very badly; as a result of the hurt it seemed that the horse found it difficult to be around people and to trust them. What was it about the man in the field who was simply waiting patiently? What was it that told the man not to chase the horse? Where did he find the patience? The day wore on, and as the scene appeared on the screen it became evident that the horse was making its way through the field back to the man who was trying to help. Finally, the horse was beside the man and they walked together back into the corral.
Is that not like God? He waits patiently for us to realize that whether or not we have full understanding of him, we can come to him and he will care for us and love us. God says, come unto me…and I will give you rest.