I’m a big sports fan so this year’s NBA Finals really intrigues me. The Oklahoma City Thunder and its Big 3—Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and fellow ASU alum James Harden vs. the Big 3 of the Miami Heat—LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. If you’re a basketball fan this is the best possible matchup. Loads of talent, tons of drama, and arguably the league’s two best players facing off.
But if you’ve been following the entirety of the NBA playoffs then you know this exact matchup was very much in doubt as recently as four days ago. The Heat has had a tumultuous road to the NBA Finals, to say the least.Chris Bosh was injured and missed nine playoff games. Dwayne Wade has struggled to score at times. Everything LeBron James does is under such a microscope it takes a record-setting game from him for critics to ease off him for even a few minutes. The most popular talking point of the playoffs has been: “If the Heat fail to win the championship this year, how will the team break up the Big 3 after the season?” Break up the Big 3? Really? These guys have been on a combined 23 All-Star Teams. Each of them signed six-year contracts less than two seasons ago, but we’re ready to scrap it all, even after two straight trips to the NBA Finals? You tell me you’re honestly considering trading one of the Big 3 just because you’re impatient?
But isn’t that our nature? We want results, and we don’t want them in six years, we want them now! Six-year deal, schmix-year deal. You better be delivering championships to me yesterday! As frustrating as I find this irrational insistence on “now” in my fellow sports fans, I see the same desire in my own spiritual life. My prayer life is littered with “now” prayers. My focus is frequently on my current situation and how it might possibly be better if only God would jump on board with my timeline for things.
Unfortunately—check that—fortunately, God doesn’t operate on my timeline. He has His own. I’m reminded of Abraham’s story. God made some pretty big promises to Abraham, but it took 25 years for him to see the fruits of one (a child) and he didn’t even live to see another (God’s people fully occupying the Promised Land). Moses wrote to God in Psalm 90:4, “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” God’s timing is different than mine. I just need to learn to trust it.
I’m comforted by what God said in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways.” We can all be thankful for that! Because if I were in charge I’d probably have Him trading Jesus and two archangels for an underachieving youngster, an overpaid veteran, and a draft pick to be named later.
Do you ever find yourself demanding that God do something now and not trusting His timing?