When God Isn’t Efficient

I can’t remember where I heard this but recently someone commented on how process-oriented God is. He is as much about the road traveled as He is about the destination.

I’m not that way in many cases, so this got me thinking about trees. God could have decided that trees (or flowers or babies or anything, for that matter) would  come into being full-grown.  He has the power to do that. He could just speak trees or people into existence. But He decided things would start small and grow…slowly.

Take an oak tree. First, an acorn has to set down a deep tap root. Then, at an average growth of about two feet a year, the tree reaches it’s fully grown height of between 60 and 100 feet. This means the tree won’t be fully grown for 10 to 15 years!

Why didn’t God just say “be there, oak tree”?  I would have done that if I were Him. Wouldn’t it show His power far more if trees just showed up in people’s yards full grown?  Everyone would know Someone did that! Or imagine if you arrived at church and friends announced the “birth” of the son they had been praying for — a tall, lanky teen who showed up at the breakfast table that morning unannounced. No one would doubt that he was the product of Divine placement!

Someone told Benny and me one time that we had a problem: we were wanting God to be more efficient.

He isn’t. He delights in revealing His power through weakness. His wisdom is put on display in trees growing so slowly that it takes us seeing pictures of the front yard from last year to even notice it.

I’m realizing that one of the ways I can be an “imitator of Christ” is to find joy in watching things unfold. I need to relax and be more like the One who sees beauty in processes. My impatience is an evidence of being a creature, not the Creator.

There are things about me that I think are taking too long. I want my selfishness to be totally gone today. After all the training and instruction, why can’t my kids think differently now? I want my friend to find out this week that her cancer is gone.  And why plant a tree in which someone other than me might be able to hang a swing for her grandchildren?

Maybe you’re like me and are battling perplexity or frustration over God’s inefficiency.

“Some things cannot be done in a day. God does not make a sunset glory in a moment, but for days may be massing the mist out of which He builds it.”  (Streams in the Desert)

Are you, like me, tempted to be frustrated or perplexed by God’s inefficiency? Let’s think about it: God may be collecting mist from our lives to paint a beautiful sunset.

1 thought on “When God Isn’t Efficient

  1. Another encouraging morning! I get impatient for my children to show spiritual maturity, fruit from their professions of faith. I will look at them more as oak trees from now on. Thanks for the word picture!

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