In today’s day and age, we’re used to getting what we want quickly.

We aren’t used to waiting….for anything. With a few clicks of the mouse or the press of a button on an app, we can get what we want, when we want it, with little to no effort on our part. We’ve become attracted to words like “instant” and “immediate.” We don’t want to wait or work for results – we want them now.

A few weeks ago, I was reading a devotional book a friend bought for me, and something struck me. In truth, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

“You can’t enjoy My (God’s) peace on the run.”

Think about that for a minute.

How often do we treat God like a drive-thru window – placing our “order” and expecting Him to deliver it up a few moments later. I stop to think about the times I’ve prayed for a change in myself or in my kids and then carried on exactly as before.

I can’t ask God for peace and then live exactly as I did when I felt frantic and busy. Instead, I must learn to listen to His voice and seek His strength to make changes in my life.

We simply can’t pray for peace or patience or a major change in our life – and expect it to happen without any effort or work on our part. God isn’t a drive-thru. He isn’t about grab and go. His end game for us isn’t happiness- it’s holiness. He wants real life change – changes that make us more like His Son and less like the world….changes that can’t be handed to us in an instant.

When we’re not in the Word, not consistently in prayer, not seeking God’s will, not in community – we can’t expect change. God gives good gifts – and will give us the strength and help we need to make changes – but there must be change.

Don’t cry out for help and run. If only it were as easy as saying, “God, I’d like to order some patience  with a side of peace.” We CAN ask – and we should. But when we find ourselves feeling low – crying out to God for help, instead of moving on and expecting our personality, behaviors, and life to change automatically – let’s stay with Him. Let’s keep praying. Let’s open our Bibles and get to know more of what He wants for us. Tell a friend and get some accountability. Surround yourself with others who embody the traits and lifestyle you’re seeking. But don’t pray and run. Remain.