At one time I was travelling over 30 miles to work, up a very busy section of motorway that often jammed; the work was very pressured; that and lots of responsibilities at home were wearing me down, so I applied for jobs nearer home. At one school, there were three of us being interviewed for two jobs. I was the one who failed! I had another interview somewhere else, and came second. So I kept on travelling. Finally the pressure got to me; I went off sick and decided to give up teaching altogether. While I was off, I got a call from the first school – another post had come vacant, and would I interview for it? I would have said no, but the night before, someone had prayed for me, and given me a word that I would be offered a job, so I went for it, and got it, and I loved that job.
Why didn’t God give it to me the first time round? That establishment had been through a torrid time in those intervening couple of years. I think God wanted me to avoid that. His timing was best.
Rachel still had no children of her own. What could she do about it? Then one of her sister’s children found a mandrake of all things – surely that would grant her fertility! So that is what she put her trust in, and traded her husband’s love for (Genesis 30:14-23). Jacob, being a well-behaved husband, did as he was bidden by his two wives, and went to sleep with Leah.
So how did Rachel fare with her traded mandrake? Did it help her get pregnant? Not at all. But it did help Leah get pregnant! Twice over! You just can’t trust a mandrake!
Rachel did finally get her first son, Joseph. Not because of any trade-offs, not because she’d done right, not because of anything other than it was God’s time. God had his purpose in Joseph, and he was born at exactly the moment God wanted him to be born, so he was the right age at the right time for all the other things that would take place in his life.
When God has his hand on your life, being in a hurry doesn’t help. All we can do is pray, trust and wait.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 New Living Translation