“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,7 casting all your anxieties on him, becausehe cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV
Have you ever been the victim of an obnoxious horn honk? I am noticing how quickly people are hitting their horns when feeling delayed at a stop light. It is like they are expecting the person in front of them to watch the light like a Formula One racer taking advantage of their pole position. The other day I was sitting at a stop light, and it turned green. As I hit the accelerator and was in the middle of the intersection, I heard a honk. Usually when that happens, I think they are honking at me. I looked around and saw the light was green and the intersection was clear, but when I peered into my rearview mirror, I saw the poor driver in the lane next to me that failed to anticipate the start of the race to the next light. He was sitting there with a honker behind him.
Our world is full of honkers. People in a hurry getting to where they want to go. I must admit I am a honker occasionally when I feel I need to be. I am not proud of that. Now honking is not always bad. Honking can be a warning to a driver who is unaware of the other car. Honking can be clear communication that you are in the driveway ready to pick up your friend. I guess it can also communicate to need for your spouse to hurry up when they are running late. In my home, that is usually me getting out of the door on time. But honking can also be the rude noise we make with our cars when someone is not doing what we want them to do. They are not moving quick enough and causing us to be delayed.
I think we honk a lot at God. Our horn sound like, “God, I need you to do this. Honk.” “God, why am I still dealing with that? Honk.” “God, please help me in my finances. Honk.” Now don’t get me wrong. God wants us to pray. Scripture is clear that we are to bring our requests to Him and they do not wear Him out. But that isn’t honking. Honking comes when we reach the point of losing our patience because we are tired of waiting. Think about this. When someone honks at you from behind because you are not moving fast enough, is your first thought, “They are so very humble and patient. I appreciate them thinking of me to move faster.” Is that really what we think when we get honked at? Most likely it is the opposite. “Hey, I hear you! Back off and quit being so rude.” I wonder what God thinks when we start wailing on our spiritual prayer horns at him. “Hurry up God!”
I am learning the key to patience in my journey of unanswered prayer. It is humility. My trials or seasons of contention can feel like the long stop light with ten cars ahead of you. If one of those cars fails to go, I will get stuck again at the same light. This is when we get testy and rely on the sound of our horn to let God know we are not moving fast enough. Humility is placing myself under God’s “Mighty” hand that is able and faithful. The process of humility for the readers of this letter from Peter was persecution. Peter says to stay in humility. Don’t lash out by honking the horn at those who are coming against you. Don’t respond like the world does. Position yourself in who is patient, who is with you and who will help you in due time. I imagine Peter’s readers had had enough of the persecution. Their patience was getting thin and that is probably why he wrote the letters. God was reminding them of the breakthrough quality of life – humility.
What happens when we humble ourselves under God? He lifts us up at the proper time. That word “proper” or “due” time means the right time. It is the opportune time for God’s will to be done. This is God’s time, not out time. This is when the red stop lights of our life will remain red until God has put everything into order. That car ahead of us could be the key to us staying where we need to be for that time spiritually speaking.
God knows where we are and why we are there. Sometimes it is our fault and we want Him to bail us out quickly. At other times it is where God wants us to be because He has placed us there to prepare us for what is next. Whatever the reason, we are to throw our anxious worries and deadlines on Him. Instead of laying on the horn, we are to acknowledge God knows where we are and when His time is right, He will lift us up. He will bring us out. He will calm the storm, open the door and we will be right on time.