My Overflowing Inbox
I have six email addresses. Two of them exist for specific tasks – one is for keeping in touch with my man (via Google chat) through the day; the other to access my writer’s group calendar. The remaining four are for email writing. One is my work email address; one is for travel times and junk mail; one’s connected to my website. Last but not least is my favourite email address where I do lots of ‘chattering’ to family and friends.
Ah! That’s my addiction box.
Those who know me know that I love writing emails. Lately, that favourite email address has been overloaded. Life has been extra busy with my part time job and trying to write during my non existent free time. So I’ve had little opportunity to write emails as freely as I’d like. My natural inclination is to reply immediately. So when I can’t do that, I’m like an impatient dog on a leash being kept at bay – straining at the leash; trying hard to move ahead. It irks me.
Would they think I didn’t care?
I finally had to accept that there were days I couldn’t write emails. I decided not to stress about it. Life was busy and exciting enough and I knew I couldn’t do everything. A few weeks ago, I finally found a couple of quiet days when I could catch up on many things which I’d placed on hold. Not only did I manage to catch up on my overdue writing commitments, I also triumphed in getting my unwieldy inbox under control. It gave me great satisfaction to bring it down from a bulging 60 odd emails to a reasonable 16!
I was very pleased.
However, this happy state didn’t last for long. Before a day had passed, about 26 new emails came in. Another 19 tumbled in the next day. You know how it is. But you know what! I didn’t mind. Not a bit. After all, that’s what it’s about isn’t it? Connections with people. Flow of thoughts between me and my world. I actually didn’t want that 16 to remain static. I do want to hear from family and friends. All the time. So I’m not complaining. If no emails come in – I would be very sad.
I hope my extended family and friends know that when I delay to respond it’s not because I don’t care. Far from it. It’s just that life places many demands on me. I know I have to discipline my times with my ‘email habit’. I need to care for my men, work hard at my job, do my writing when I can and perform those never-ending mundane chores that are part of all our lives. So the writing of emails is a treat to be savoured when I'm blessed with some free time.
Perhaps it’s a good analogy of periods when God seems to delay answering our prayers. The reason I don’t respond is not because I don’t care. The reason God doesn’t respond is likewise not because He doesn’t care. God’s delays (unlike mine) are not because He is too busy. The encouraging truth is that God’s delays are not delays at all. They are part of a glorious life giving plan that we will understand one day. God doesn’t (seem to) respond at times, simply because His agenda is very different to ours. He is Sovereign. He knows and sees the big picture. Our perception of that big picture is pretty hazy.
Are you tired of waiting for His answers? Life is sometimes a slow walk inside a dark depressing tunnel with faltering steps…. not even knowing if there’s light at the end of it. But you know, in Jesus, everything’s different. We are the resurrection people. We have a song in our hearts and the story of redemption on our lips. One glad day we will see the answers to our prayers in a more glorious awakening than we can ever imagine.
So when you are tempted to wonder why God’s delaying to answer – please don’t give up. Do reflect. And do remember. Remember how He responded before. Remember how you once found a beautiful jigsaw falling into place out of the seeming chaos in your life. And take heart. This season too may well be one of those – where the jigsaw pieces may seem haphazard and unmatched for a little while as you try to sort them out. God in His wisdom knows the end result. And it will be good. In fact, it will be more than good.
It will be glorious.
Till then you can trust in an all wise, dependable, majestic God.
He is slowly but surely working out His perfect purposes in and through your life.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5, 6