Last week, I wrote a post about patience and the fact that God works even in the waiting. If you missed that one, you can read it here. Today I want to follow up a little bit more…
I am a dreamer, notsomuch a planner. I tend to be a spur-of-the-moment, don’t-have-to-have-everything-worked-out-in-advance kind of guy. I love dreaming up possibilities for the future and talking about things that could be, so whenever I start actually taking steps towards turning these dreams into reality my focus is usually on my image of what the endgame actually looks like. And I can dream pretty big, so my idea of a preferred future is usually pretty awesome.
But how often has the “future” actually turned out like I dreamed up and prepared for? That happens about as often as I weave living room drapes from the hair of a unicorn’s mane.* And yet, between the dreaming and the fulfillment of a dream, amidst all the requisite waiting and planning and waiting that comes with moving forward, I too often find myself at a point of frustration. Inevitably, however, God steps in at some point in the process to remind me of the fact that His plans are so much greater than mine; that He can dream up a whole lot more than I can.**
So you know about this coffee house/teen center project that I have been working on for the past 18 months. Well, it has taken a whole lot longer to come to fruition than I ever imagined. By some original estimates, we are 12 or 14 months behind schedule. Honestly, there have been points during this process where the waiting has become almost unbearable, yet I have been powerless to make anything move faster. I already explained the perspective God gave me a couple weeks ago: the fact that He works even in the waiting. But there’s more.
God works while we can’t. He moves when we can’t even see two feet in front of ourselves. While we are helpless, He is patient and perfect.
- God promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation. This promise was fulfilled some 500 years after Abraham’s death.
- God promised David that he would be the King of Israel. This didn’t happen until after years of running and hiding from the existing King.
- God promised Noah that he would be set apart from the rest of humanity to relaunch the species. This happened only after some 100 years or more of hard, thankless, and seemingly foolish labor.
- God promised the nation of Israel that He would deliver them from slavery to a promised land – a land “flowing with milk and honey.” It took 40 years of wandering in the desert to bring them to that place.
- God promised Adam and Eve that one day a savior would come who would defeat sin and death. Jesus did that some 4000 years later on the cross.
- Jesus promised that He would come back one day to bring about the fulfillment of His kingdom and establish his glorious reign for all eternity. We are still waiting on that promise.
* Which is to say, rarely. If ever.
** Like armadillos. Or a sunrise. Or the way my daughter’s eyes shine like tiny diamond-encrusted stars when she smiles.