Those who treat God like a vending machine will never have enough change. When you stick a dollar in the vending machine, you expect to get the specific item you selected. If you pay more than the item costs, you expect to get the exact change. The main concept behind the vending machine is you’re instantly able to get everything you want.

God doesn’t work like a vending machine at all — not in the way He answers our prayers, orders our lives, or leads us in His will. Anyone who tries to use God like a vending machine will be utterly disappointed because He won’t give them everything they want when they want it.

Instead, God wants us to bring our requests to Him and wait for Him to respond. He does this in His way and His timing. Sometimes He says yes; sometimes He says no; and sometimes He says not right now. (This is the hardest response to hear because it means we have to wait until He makes His will clear.) As we wait for God’s response, we learn what it means to rest and be still in Him — it means leaving the outcome of the situation in His hands without trying to influence it ourselves. Through waiting, God stretches our faith and develops our character in a way He never could if He gave us what we wanted right away. Unlike the items in a vending machine, which offer temporary fulfillment, God always sees to it that the things He has for us are worth waiting for. We never wait in vain.

Are you waiting for a response from God? Maybe you’ve been trying to sell your house for months, but nothing has worked out for you. A brother, sister, son, or daughter has rebelled against God, and you wonder if you have been praying in vain. Perhaps you are waiting for God’s direction concerning your future. Be quiet and still as you wait on the Lord, and you will not be disappointed.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder