Throughout the Bible, we observe God at work in people’s lives. Sometimes He acts in dramatic fashion, as when He parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites escape from the Egyptian army. At other times it may appear that He’s not taking any action. Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother needed His help, but Christ delayed before traveling to their home (John 11:3-6). In fact, He was preparing an even greater miracle.
The Holy Spirit helps us recognize God’s presence and handiwork. He does this by cultivating our ability to discern when and where the Lord is at work.
In addition to spiritual discernment, we must develop patience because God operates according to His timetable, not ours. Abraham was promised numerous descendants, but there was a long wait before his wife conceived—in fact, he and Sarah were beyond childbearing years. Impatience can cause us to take matters into our own hands and make mistakes.
The Lord’s efforts can bring delight, as was the case when Hannah became a mother (1 Samuel 1:27-2:1). His plan can also lead through painful times, which was Joseph’s experience. Before the Lord elevated him to a position of authority to help his family, Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned.
Jesus told the disciples that His Father was always at work and so was He. We will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith when we recognize the ways in which God is operating. These glimpses of His handiwork will motivate us to stay the course and help us maintain a godly perspective on life.