The Best is Yet to Come
by Heather McGillivray (reprinted with permission July 12, 2011)
What endeared me most to my grandfather growing up was the way he always saw a little humour and a ray of sunshine in every situation. When my grandparents’ dream of buying a new home with the income from their taxi stand and diner was dashed by medical expenses and trips south to Toronto for Mama’s endless eye operations–leaving them to share the little one bedroom apartment with my mom while she grew up–he patiently endured it, spending the rest of his life caring for her in her blindness.
When I came along he was well seasoned by life’s hardships. “Hurry up and wait!” he’d tell me with a grin, instead of bemoaning something taking too long. I often think about my grandfather’s words when it seems like God is taking a long time to answer my prayers.
Like the time I needed to approach someone meekly about a situation. I’d prayed it through and gone with the best of intentions. As I turned off my ignition and stepped out onto the asphalt the lyrics for ‘The Best is Yet to Come’ flooded my soul, and I went in expectantly. I thought the ‘best’ would be waiting for me in the parking lot on my way out.
But my efforts were not well received and because of that, my life took a course I’d never planned on. Nearly a decade later–my prayers seemingly vanished into the unpredictability of it all–I’m still waiting.
I thought about them when a divorce I never wanted left me unable to keep my house and I was offered a chance to slip in somewhere on the sly—getting graciously bumped ahead of other equally needy families by well-meaning friends. As I prayed, God told me to wait. I still remember the time of release in worship I had when He gave me the assurance it was all taken care of–accommodations were coming right around the corner.
What followed were two gruelling years and a Red Sea experience. Illness made it impossible to keep working, and soaring housing prices made it impossible to find anything cheaper. I’d been on a waiting list for a local co-op, but they’d informed me there wouldn’t be an opening for months at the earliest. God told me to wait.
Within days the tables turned. People moved out of the co-op, others switched units, and those ahead of me declined their spots—we were in. My house sold at the peak of the market, giving me extra to sustain me through the worst. The best had, indeed, come—in God’s timing.
Like Joseph and Abraham, sometimes we feel like we’re hurrying up to follow God and He puts us on His celestial waiting list—our prayers seemingly slipping through His snoozing radar. Not so.
“And another angel came and took his place at the altar, having a gold vessel for burning perfume; and there was given to him much perfume, so that he might put it with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar which was before the high seat” (Rev. 8:3 ASV).
Did you know that one of the most important steps in making perfume is letting it sit? The longer a scent base sits with the pure grain base, the stronger the perfume will be. God has not forgotten our prayers. Not one vapour of our hearts’ anguish soaking the altar of His affection has escaped His concern. Every petition is being painstakingly preserved and perfected for that precise moment when it will spill over our circumstances in a glorious and fragrant outpouring of answers we never imagined possible.
Precious, patient believer–hurry up and pray. The best is yet to come.
Heather lives in Chelmsford, Ontario, with her college aged children. She knows they haven’t left yet because she’s still doing their laundry and buying lots of groceries–she just can’t figure out where they’re hiding, or what they’ve done with the van.
The most exciting thing in her life right now, apart from Jesus, is that He’s letting her write her very first novel, and she’s almost done it. She loves poetry, and could get lost for weeks at a time in a good one.
What she knows above all else, is that God hears and answers prayer–and for that she is eternally grateful. Visit her at her blog.