Ramadan Reflection – 24. What Do I Do When Things Don’t Fall Into Place?

In the Qur’an, Allah reminds us, “Oh you who believe, be steadfast in patience and prayer. Verily God is with those who are patient.” We live in a time when so many things we want to do, all we need to do is to press a button. From our remote controls, to microwaves to smartphones, push a button and almost instantaneously, we get what we want. We live in the “fast food” era- even the food we eat, can come out of a box and be ready in a minute or two.

We almost now expect that everything we want- we should get it instantly, in the moment, right when we say we want it, it should just materialize for us. While this is ok in some things, in many other ways, it is facilitating a loss of the character trait of patience. Even worse, it is fostering this sense of “me”, “ I want this right now, so I should get it, RIGHT NOW”.

When we think through our lives though, there were many moments when we wanted something badly and wanted it – right then and there- yet, it didn’t happen. In that moment, I have two choices, I can be miserable OR I can remember that God’s plan is perfect and in my humanity, I may not be able to understand why. Yet, the saying, “hindsight” is 20-20 can be telling because when we look back at those moments we may understand the wisdom in why it didn’t happen (or not) or realize why what happened was better for us (or not) (it all depends on how you look at it).

This is why we keep being reminded throughout the Qur’an to have patience, perseverance and to stick to our prayers. The three things combined help to anchor us. To remember that God’s plan is perfect, that with time we can get what we are striving for and that ultimately God is still in control of all things and if we trust God, then we should know that His Compassion, Mercy and Justice will help us through all things.

So when things don’t go our way, we should remember to be patient because of this and when we start becoming impatient- we should find people around us who will remind us and help us to be patient, to persevere and keep praying. To remember that God is there, God never left you nor will God ever abandon you. So if we are patient and ask God for what we want, and we pray then help and the answer to our prayers will come. It may not come at your time or my time, but it will come in the right way at the right time.

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