Have you ever sought God so intently, so desperately, so honestly, but with no clear answer?
I have a dear friend who has been seeking God with a truly life-altering decision. She has prayed fervently for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ from God. No matter how much she prays, or how much wisdom she seeks, or how much Scripture she reads, she has not felt at peace either way. Watching this process led me to think about the reality of the answer we often dread when it comes to patiently trusting: Not Right Now.
We come to the Lord asking for A or B.
We seek Him, and we hope He will confirm one or the other.
Sometimes, He does.
But sometimes, maybe we are too blinded by our perception of the situation that we have failed to seek God most – and what if He has been saying “It’s C” all along? Patience is a challenge in these moments.
We have mapped out our lives on a certain timeframe, so we come to the Word with our empty cup and bring to the table our anticipation of God to answer “on time”. We forget that 1,000 years is like one day with the Lord. We forget that His timing is perfect, beyond our comprehension, not limited to the moment-by-moment timeframe we live within this side of heaven.
Yet until we get our yes or no, we feel a lack of peace and we grow tired of waiting in patience. We forget to pray that if the answer is not right now, we will still rejoice and be obedient in His leading.
The first display of this misunderstanding comes through the story of Adam and Eve. Scripture is clear that God is a good Father, not able to tempt us, and that He is all-knowing. If we believe these things about our Heavenly Father, how do we reconcile the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that would allure Adam and Eve to sin against Him? What’s the deal with this tree?
I believe that the tree had a greater purpose. And that purpose was for our good and God’s glory. But Adam and Eve, like you and me, were impatient. They did not trust that God really wanted their good, and so they chose right now – they took the forbidden fruit and they hit fast-forward on God’s good timing.
I don’t know what would have happened had they waited to see His plans unfold. But I believe that the tree was a “not right now” tree that Adam and Eve rushed past.
God was not holding out on them. God had given them everything they needed – relationship with Him in a beautiful garden, where they could run and enjoy His presence, uncovered and whole, with no shame or worry. They were of one heart with God.
But that was not enough for them. They listened to the enemy and they sought for themselves a “yes” instead of trusting God’s, “not right now”.
Friends, let me encourage you not to rush through the Not Right Now. We live so much of our lives in this limbo – waiting to see the reason, while trusting the good Father who has placed us here in the middle.
If we fast-forward, skipping the chapters that our Good Father has already penned for us, we miss out of the beautiful understanding and thorough dependence of His good character. When we reject the invitation to trust Him to carry us through and sustain us in the midst of the in between, we miss out on knowing Him more intimately.
Like Adam and Eve, brokenness between them and God came as quickly as it had been given. They impatiently chose to step outside of His plan, timing, and provision, and we’ve been experiencing the brokenness of that choice ever since. Apart from Christ, there was no peace.
But through Christ, through grace, we can be restored, made whole, invited back into true and lasting peace through knowing Him. Praise God that His patience allows us time to know Him!
And friends, THAT is the real prize in this life. The answer you seek is not the goal, and true joy and satisfaction will not come even if you jump ahead right now. True joy and lasting peace are based on patiently walking with God as we seek to have One Heart with our Lord.
Lean into the Not Right Now, sister. Look forward to all that you will learn about our Good, Good Father.