Once you see something, you cannot unsee it. A wise woman once told me that. It’s one of those sayings that hides in your heart, in the back of your mind, until something snatches it forward, and from that moment on, you’re different in it’s knowledge.
However, just as important, is it’s parallel truth, the one that seems to always escape me, is that we can see much further than we can feel. You can see a storm blowing in; a dark, tumultuous storm, long before you can feel it’s angry wind blow in your face. I once read that you can only see a little more than 3 miles away on a flat plain, before the curve of the Earth makes it fall out of your view. Even still, 3 miles is a long way for something to happen before it reaches you. What do you with the 3 miles of waiting before the storm catches up to you?
“One day when Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his relatives, the people of Israel. He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. So Moses came to the man’s defense and avenged him, killing the Egyptian. Moses assumed his fellow Israelites would realize God had sent him to rescue them, but they didn’t.” Acts 7:23-24
Isn’t it funny that often times when we see something good in our horizon, we try it rush it’s arrival. We’ll carry around our umbrella, opened wide for days, until our arm grows weary and we become irritated with how long it’s taking for this rain to come. As if our umbrella could have made it come sooner. And that’s usually when we take matters into our own hands.
I’ve spent my entire life rushing God’s timing. I’ve made impatience my full time job. As a child, I was always anxious to grow up. I couldn’t wait to be older, so I played school all the time. I was always the teacher, because I knew everything already. A teenager when I was 9, then at 16, I just wanted to be an adult. I finished high school early and by the time I was 18 had already purchased and stored under my bed at my parents house, nearly everything required to move out. I couldn’t wait to be married, then to have children, now to have grandchildren. I saw all of God’s promises for me buried in my heart and wanted them all. Right now.
As I’ve matured, I’ve gotten better at this. A little. Not really, but I’m working on it. And I’m in good company, because my man Moses was just like me. He knew God made him to rescue the Israelites, so he took on that job like a boss and just made it happen. Although, he fell into the same trap I did, or do, all the time. Nothing happens correctly except for in God’s timing. And in his anxiousness to be all that God called him to be, right now, a man was killed and Moses was shamed and rejected. You ever rush into something, just to come out beaten and battered, regretting the whole thing? Yeah, me neither.
“The next day he visited them again and saw two men of Israel fighting. He tried to be a peacemaker. ‘Men,’ he said, ‘you are brothers. Why are you fighting each other?’ But the man in the wrong pushed Moses aside. ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ he asked. ‘Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard that, he fled the country and lived as a foreigner in the land of Midian. There his two sons were born.” Acts 7:26-29
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for it’s own time. He planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 4:11
Preparation and action. These core tenants are not interchangeable. Vision gives us time to prepare. We often think that there’s only so much you can do to prepare. I don’t know about you, but I tend to rush the preparation period. I’ve had all of my children’s names decided before I was pregnant. Their rooms were completely done long before they were born. I did all I could do myself to prepare, but that didn’t mean my babies were ready to be born yet. They still had months of work to do on their part. I have to have enough foresight to realize it’s not all about me, and I couldn’t do this alone. It’s when I lost sight of that, that made the wait harder.
There’s something powerful in the waiting. God is at work in our waiting. Shaping our insides to prepare us for what only He can see. You may have seen for a month that the rain is coming. Made every practical preparation. But we can’t see the minute detail of how God is orchestrating our lives to be perfectly prepared for what’s coming. How our stories are intricately woven together and you need my part to build your part and together we’ll realize our individual purposes. I think it’s when we confuse our individual purpose for meaning we do it alone, that we end up making a mess of things. You see, sometimes, in our excitement for something great, we run ahead and we trip and fall. But this race of ours, is something like a relay race. One in which we are all together, running toward the same goal, needing each other’s help, to drift behind when we are weary, to encourage one another to keep running. We all have different portions of the race, that was made just for us, that no one else can do quite like we can, but it’s only together that the race will be won.
“One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God.” Exodus 3:1 “…an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he went to take a closer look, the voice of the Lord called out to him, ‘I am the God of your ancestors – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with terror and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans and have come down to rescue them. NOW GO, for I am sending you back to Egypt.’ “Acts 7:30-34 (emphasis mine)
In Midian, the place that Moses fled to, to hide in shame and obscurity, God rose up a trustworthy confidence in Jethro. A man who would later help Moses walk in his calling, by giving invaluable advice. God also used that time to train Moses in the art of shepherding, something he had never learned in the Pharaoh’s palace.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew His people in advance…’ Romans 8:28
He knew us in advance. He knew we’d struggle in the wait, and His grace covers it. He will give you a place to hide and rest, to recover and rebuild, and when the time is right, He will send you back on your way. But this time, you’ll be wiser, you’ll be prepared, and you’ll have the support you needed all along, right beside you, helping you walk out your calling.
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