My dad has always been an over-protective dad. As his eldest daughter, I had quite some hard conversations with him during my preteen and teenage years. Even today, dad still gives me advices that reflect his fear that I would not be able to make it. It is quite tough for Chinese dads of his age to learn to “let go” of their grown-up kids, I guess.
However, as I reflect, there were good reasons for dad to hold me back for making certain choices of mine, especially when I was still immature and had yet to figure things out. I remember asking dad for permission to work in a textile factory during the school break in my 9th grade. Dad turned my request down firmly, primarily because I was kind of under-age for a paid job, and dad knew that I was not ready for a work environment of the blue collar.
And that’s how I gradually come to an understanding of how my God is with me — how He ordains events of my life. I have more than once complained in pain to Him, “Why God?… How long will it take for me to get through these?”
I named my God as “the God on the snail.” I did not understand why He seemed like to hold things back from me. Why the delay? Why make me learn the lesson of waiting on Him, over and over again?
And then one day, after 5 years of waiting, He opened a door for my dream job of lecturing in a college.
And then another day, after 7 years of waiting for someone to help me out spiritually, God led me to my favorite friend and mentor, who has also become my sounding board and prayer warrior. I really appreciate her, even now.
And yet another fine day, after 14 years of waiting for Him to confirm His ministry calling, He brought me to a great theological seminary, of which I was shaped intellectually, spiritually and character wise.
And yet one perfect day, after 20 years of waiting for Him to answer me regarding my life partner, I met my current fiance, to whom I would be married this Spring.
My God is, unlike my earthly father, not over-protective of me. In fact, He lets me explore all doors that I could try, attain many things that I have dreamed of, experience some failures due to my wrong assumptions, and taste the goodness of His deliverance and blessings, which come only at His timing. When He finally breaks the silence to speak about something, He speaks it loud and clear. When He has ordained to bless, He does not hold any good things back. That is how my God is.
To me, He’s still “the God on the snail.” He’s still the God that I wish He answers me at my timing, but He always has the best timing – He has my best interest at heart. He knows it better. He showed up every time when I thought that I was consumed and couldn’t do it anymore. Like Job’s experience in the Bible, when God gives at His timing, He rewards me than more than double portions of anything that I thought I had lost.
He’s also the God who give me wings to fly. And when I get to fly at His timing, I get to soar at a vintage point, like an eagle.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31