One of my jobs each week is getting the bulletin ready. It’s less of a program for the worship service and more like a newsletter. In trying to find something substantive for the back page, I ran across an email with a piece reprinted from Rick Warren. He quotes Habakkuk (which is one of my favorite little books) and makes the statement, “Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay.”
When God does that, every bit of faith I mustered to take that step, to follow that dream, gets pitched right out the window. If God would tell me up front, “Now it’s going to take five years (or ten or twenty) before this all comes to pass,” I’d be all set. He never does that though. He expects me to trust Him. From beginning to end. Without constant reassurance.
I don’t have to be reassured that Jesus is really giving me eternity in heaven. I don’t have to be reminded that God is omnipotent. So what’s the difference? Me. That dream, that assignment began in God’s mind and is a part of His plan which cannot fail. However, I often fall into believing the success rests solely with me now. The pressure mounts to make it happen.
God never tells me I have to bring His plans to fruition. One reason for the delay is to make sure I understand that it isn’t about what I can do for God. It’s about seeing God’s purposes fulfilled, getting to be there when it happens.
The other thing I need to grasp- quoting Rick Warren again- “A delay is not a denial.” If things don’t fall in place after what I think is a reasonable time, I take that as a sign I’ve done something wrong, God is displeased, and I’m being benched. God has a timetable and His purposes will always be accomplished. Always. A promise is a promise.
If I trust God with my eternal soul… surely I can trust Him when it seems things aren’t working out the way I thought they were going to. It sounds so simple when I type it out. I’ll keep working on it.