It takes me an hour to prepare myself to go to work in the morning. It took me six months to prepare to take the written aviation exam. It took me 9 months to prepare to deliver a baby. It took me five years to prepare to graduate from college.
Preparations help us accomplish goals and tasks, so how foolish it would be to shorten needed and important preparation time. I can just picture it: I would show up at the office in disarray, or at the aviation testing center breaking pencils in frustration and woefully unprepared to work problems and do calculations.
If we readily acknowledge and respect the fact that time spent in preparation is necessary and worthwhile, and if we allow ourselves the time needed to effectively accomplish our work, why, oh why, are we so impatient with God? Doesn't He also need time to make His own necessary preparations?
I'd love it if God would prepare hearts and change circumstances today, right now, this very minute, as a matter of fact. Psalm 10:17 says, "thou wilt prepare their hearts," but this verse doesn't tell me how long He will take to do it.
Consider the book and movie, "End of the Spear." God took half a century to write this story. In 1956 Waodani Indians speared five Christian missionaries to death in the jungles of Ecuador. Five years, ten years, even 25 years after this event, how could the widows and families have even imagined how God was planning and preparing to redeem this tragic day? But 50 years later, the tribe responsible for the deaths of these men is largely Christian and one of the men involved in the killings has assumed the role of a beloved father in the life of one of the slain men's son. God allowed Himself five decades to "prepare their hearts" and tell a remarkable story with a big-screen addendum.
The work and process of preparation for both God and man is described in Proverbs 24:27. "Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house." It's easy to pray, "It is time for You to act, O Lord" (Psalm 119:126), but oftentimes we need to balance that prayer of yearning with, "Thou will prepare their hearts."