For the last several weeks I’ve had this feeling I couldn’t quite describe. I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t stressed. I wasn’t doubting God. Yet I felt like I was in this sort of wrestling match. Then one of my friends posted this on Facebook:
“There is a tension of resting where God has you and planning for your next steps forward for the future.” -Ron Klablunde
That’s me. Right there. That’s what I’ve been feeling!
Something happens when God speaks of what’s ahead. For me, a word from the Lord about what’s coming gets me dreaming. More often than not I’m ready to drop whatever is right in front of me and head out for that next thing. But instead of diving right in to that future thing, God’s been allowing me to take little baby steps toward it while still resting in what I have right now.
So my friend’s post helped me to put words to what I was feeling. But in these kinds of situations I also like finding something similar in Scripture to connect with. It helps me feel like I’m not completely crazy because someone else went through this too. It gives me something to cling to, and it gives me hope that God will come through just like He said.
My go-to guy is Abraham, so I immediately started sorting through his experiences. I thought about how God called him away from his homeland into something new. But Abraham didn’t know exactly where he was heading.
Now, I’m not going to be all sure of myself and say that I know exactly where I’m headed. I have a sense, but I don’t know every detail of what it will look like. And for the first time in my life, I’m actually okay with not having it all figured out. But I don’t feel completely clueless either.
I feel like the impression that can be given in the Church is that since we can’t know everything God has planned, we won’t know anything. Are His plans bigger and more involved that we imagine? Yes. Do they involve a lot of different opportunities we would never consider putting ourselves though? Yes. But I don’t think He leaves us completely in the dark either.
Sometimes we have Abraham moments where God says, “Leave this place, trust me, and I’ll lead you into what’s next.”
But other times we have a Noah moment, which is the story I’ve connected with more in this season.
God met with Noah and told him straight up what His plans were: “For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven” (Genesis 6:17). God told Noah what was about to happen, how it would happen, and He gave instructions for Noah to build an ark, with exact measurements and the type of materials to use, so that his family and every kind of animal would be saved.
Noah knew what was coming in a sense. He didn’t know when, and he probably lacked some of the details like how long it would take to build that ark and how long this flood would last. But he knew where he was headed.
So he set to work. Sawing wood, hammering nails. Sawing wood, hammering nails. For years this went on. The preparation took some time and the tension started building–the tension between what is and what will be.
Of course, he faced another kind of tension too as people looked on and gave him grief for building this thing he called a “boat” in the middle of a desert. His neighbors were ruthless in their taunting, but Noah kept at it. He sawed wood, hammered nails, and waited for the day when what will be became what is.
Perhaps you’re in a season like that right now–caught in the tension of waiting in faith. Don’t be discouraged. Trust that this time is accomplishing God’s purposes. Be faithful with where you are, even if it all seems mundane, unimportant, or not exactly what you want to be doing. Remain faithful and trust that God is faithful in the process too.
Trust that He’s moving all the pieces to where they need to be.
Trust that He’s doing a work in your heart to prepare you for that next thing.
Trust that the next thing isn’t the end goal.
Truth is, life works in seasons. Noah’s ark building happened for a season. His time on the ark was a season. Things change. One day this next-thing will be the thing we’re moving out of and into the next next-thing.
Trust the process.
There is tension. There is a shifting of priorities and interests and desires. People will look at you during the waiting and the preparing and call you crazy, just as Noah’s neighbors did. But here’s the thing I want you to hang on to: God is with you wherever you go. He is your goal, not the next thing. He is the one you serve no matter what season of life you’re in. He is the one constant and He will love you through each dream sought after and each dream realized and every moment in between.
If you’re caught in the middle trying to describe your situation, here’s your word: tension. It’s not a bad thing. It just means things are shifting and God’s gearing you up for the next thing. And that’s exciting!
So keep your eyes fixed on Him. Keep sawing wood and hammering nails. Rest in where you are now. And let the Lord lead you into what’s next. Trust His timing. Trust His ways. Trust Him.
Live in His love!
Related: Faith in the Ordinary Tasks