the divine pause refuses all kick-start efforts.
There is nearly always a time period between God's promise to us and the manifestation of the promise. Occasionally the Lord moves instantly, but not as often as we’d prefer. Imagine if the Lord did everything we desired...just when we wanted it. He wouldn’t be God at all, but some sort of a genie. Not only would we become spoiled and demanding, we'd stay very immature. God is more interested in what is happening in our hearts than handing us immediate answers.Waiting refines us and causes us to mature. Waiting allows us to grow in wisdom and stature, in grace and truth.
When we struggle and fight against God’s timing, it produces frustration. A seed takes time to bring forth - it cannot be planted and then sprout, grow, bloom and be harvested all in a single day. Thinking that things should go our way and in our timing instead of trusting the Lord and His perfect timing is actually a sypmtom of pride. The very waiting we loathe has the capacity to produce true humility in our hearts.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning.” It’s easy to start something. Beginnings are exciting, everything is fresh and new; the potential hasn’t been tarnished with harsh realities. Think of a pregnancy. At the beginning, you’re thrilled. You think about names, nursery colors, the crib, and what the baby will look like. Then you grow and wait. You wait and grow. You endure many months of hugeness. In the end, gigantic, swollen, and uncomfortable, you long to be done already. But the end of the pregnancy is better than the beginning, because the end of the gestation is the beginning of motherhood...and worth the agonizing wait.
Much to my dismay, God does not hand us the blueprint of our lives. ("Oh," the organizer in me screams, “if only!”) There are probably many reasons. First of all, God alone is The Architect, the Master Planner of our lives, and He alone is sovereign. Secondly, I believe that not knowing all of the events of our lives ahead of time is the Lord’s way of protecting us. Who of us, if shown ahead of time the many things which we’ve already endured, would have the ability to run to and not run from the difficulties in our lives? The burden of knowing all of the trials heading our direction each day would prevent most of us from getting out of bed!
Third, waiting allows us to exercise our faith. If we all already knew everything ahead of time, we’d have no need at all for faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the subject of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.” The very definition of faith is to believe and hope for what is not plainly before our eyes.
So, when our dream is paused, how do we respond?
By trusting the bestower of our dream more than the circumstances that are contrary to its fulfillment. We do this when we keep our focus on the Lord, through:
* Radical worship that not only touches God's heart, but changes ours.
* Prayer that reaches His throne, and lifts the burden of frustration from us.
* Time in His word, which is living and active, and allows us to know and understand the Lord's character - He is utterly trustworthy.
When we trust God, we honor Him and acknowledge His ability to make a way where there seems to be no way. Even when the "pause button" has been pushed, we can choose to trust the Lord with our dream. It is then that we can confidently say to our Master Planner:"But I trusted, relied on and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hand..." Psalms 31: 14-15a
Join me next week for The Power of a Dream - Part 3.