Straight from a Processing Heart
By Lisa Elliott
It’s amazing how five simple words can change the way we approach life. Several years ago a friend gave me five significantly life-changing, perspective-gaining, peace-attaining words as I was discerning God’s direction. These words come from Exodus 2:23. The five words I’m referring to are, “In the process of time”.
“In the process of time [During that long period (NIV)] the King of Egypt died. Exodus 2 goes on to tell us, The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”
Meanwhile, back on the hillside, “Moses was tending his flock and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush”… So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight… When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush. (Exod. 3:1-4)”
You may have heard it said that, Life is not a destination, it’s a journey. That in mind, there are things that need to happen and pieces of the puzzle that need to be put into place in the process of time. The stage needs to be set and the players need to be where God wants them before the curtain rises. Events must take place that can only take place that allow for God’s will to unfold in the process of time.
Believe me, based upon experience, a lot of things can transpire, a lot of life lived, and many valuable lessons learned in the process of time.
• The process of time changes our perspective — Processing things that have taken place in our lives allows us to make sense of some of God’s ways that didn’t make sense at the time. Hind’s sight is 20/20. "Those who wait upon the Lord will … mount up with wings as eagles (Isaiah 40:31)."
• The process of time allows us to gain insight and understanding – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths (Prov. 4:5, 6).”
• The process of time grants us peace — As we come to terms with and accept God’s perfect plan, He gives us a peace that allows us to rest and trust in Him. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3).”
• The process of time makes things clear — Microscopes make small things bigger. Telescopes make large things clearer. Often we get fixated on the minute details of our lives rather than seeing the God of the bigger picture. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps (Proverbs 16:9).”
• The process of time helps us analyze, realize, and prioritize our day-to-day activity. From time to time it’s important to take inventory of our lives. “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens: A time to keep and a time to throw away (Eccles. 3:1-8).” “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).”
• The process of time reminds us of God’s faithfulness – As we take time to reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past, God gives us hope for our future. “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’ (Lamentations 3:21-24).”
• The process of time allows the necessary pause in our lives for inner healing to take place, rest to be savored, and strength to be restored. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6:31)”, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it’ (Isaiah 30:15).”
• The process of time causes us to respond in a timely and godly fashion rather than react to life’s circumstances — “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near (Isaiah 55:6).” “_And David inquired of the Lord_ (1 Samuel 30:8).”
• The process of time gives the Lord time to perfect us and transform us into His image “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).”
• The process of time teaches us the perfecting work of patience. “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4).” “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-9).”
• The process of time refines us — “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:6, 7).”
God is a God of process (Philippians 1:6). God is a God of perfect timing (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Therefore, let’s celebrate the process and trust in His perfect timing — waiting in excited expectation and anticipation of the things God wants us to be, see, and experience in the process of time.
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay (Habakkuk 2:3)."
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org