Multi-tasking has been described as the art of messing up several things at once.
Like trying to apply makeup and drive on the freeway at the same time. Or using power tools while texting.
Much of the time when we try to do several things at once, we wind up doing each of them poorly.
God, on the other hand, is a master at multi-tasking, and He does everything perfectly.
When we think God is doing one thing in our lives, He’s actually doing many things at once. And much of what God is accomplishing is completely off our radar screens.
As theologian John Piper says, “In EVERY situation and EVERY circumstance of your life, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you do not know.” And, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of 3 of them.” (I invite you to read Piper’s excellent post on this topic.)
Take Joseph in the Old Testament, for example.
I’m sure you remember the story. Joseph, the favoured son of his father, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He bounced from Potiphar’s house to a prison, and eventually, thanks to a God-given ability to interpret dreams, became Pharaoh’s right-hand man during a time of famine in Egypt.
On the surface, we can clearly see what God did through Joseph. Millions of lives were saved thanks to his prudent management of resources during the famine.
But there was a lot more going on than simply that.
Beneath the surface, God was also refining Joseph’s character, maturing him, and forging his soul into something as strong as iron. During Joseph’s time serving Potiphar and in prison, God was giving Joseph practical organizational and leadership experience, which would be crucial to his success later on as prime minister of Egypt. God was also increasing his faith and perseverance during his long years in exile.
And that’s not even the half of it. God was also working in the lives of Joseph’s brothers back home. He was pricking their consciences, working on their characters, and softening their hearts. When they encountered Joseph again years later, their resentment of him had melted into humility. Their reunion was one of tears and joy, a complete turnaround from their murderous attitude toward him previously.
God was working on all these things in the background, but no one was aware of it at the time.
God is always doing a multiplicity of things in our lives, too.
We may be fixated on something we want from God. Let’s say it’s guidance on whether we should do X, Y or Z. We pray about it earnestly and repeatedly, hoping God will answer speedily.
He hears all our prayers, of course, and sometimes answers us immediately. More often, though, there’s a delay: we have to keep seeking Him in the matter.
Why is this?
Because God has greater things in mind than just giving us an answer to the X, Y or Z question. He wants to accomplish much more than that.
He also wants to increase our faith, draw us closer to Him, help us build persistence and perseverance in prayer, and teach us how to hear His voice. There may be other things He wants us to learn in the process, too, such as making sure our will aligns with His, encouraging us to examine our motives, and maybe not making an idol of the thing we want from Him.
All of these things will grow us as Christians and give us strength and maturity to handle other challenges in the future, long after the X, Y or Z issue has passed.
God is always multi-tasking, and it’s always for our benefit.
So if you’re waiting on God for something and wondering why it’s taking so long, consider that perhaps He is indeed working in your situation, but is accomplishing much more than you realize or expect.
With God, there’s always a lot more going on than we think!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.