A few days ago I was talking with a man whose son has recently come to faith after many rebellious years. He now wants to make up for lost time in his Christian life and has become discouraged with the slow progress of sanctification. He was asking his father the simple question, “Why?”
I would like to share with you what I shared with him. I hope it will be helpful.
When we identify a particular sin, we go to God and say, “Lord, I need this changed.” The problem is, we have so many layers of sin. Often, God has to go down many ‘stories’ to get to the root of that specific sin. He has to start answering our prayer at subterranean levels that we don’t even know exist. In other words, we are praying the prayer on one level (I raised my hands shoulder-high) but God is going to have to answer it, to answer it truly and thoroughly, at another level. (I lowered my hands to waist height)
And, of course, the roots of that sin are wrapped around many others. So God begins to work way down deep on the whole complicated mess – separating out, discarding, disentangling. Little by little. Weed by weed. Layer by layer. Slowly but surely, he goes ‘up’ until he reaches the surface level – the level at which you prayed – and you can see the results. Long after you expected them.
Wondrous, really, isn’t it? Our God does all things well!