For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
For what seems to be all of my life, God has been whispering bits and pieces of His plan — most of it repeated itself. While this was comforting and it reminded me that He hadn’t forgotten about me, it felt sort of like flipping over four or five pieces of a thousand piece puzzle. There was no clear picture and the box lid seemed to be missing. Isaiah 55: 8 became one of my favorite verses.
For my thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
However, as 2012 was moving to close, God began to speak new things. It still didn’t make much sense but I was happy to be moving. I could feel excitement bubbling but I was still frustrated. There wasn’t enough to form any sort of a picture.
Do you ever feel this way? Ready for God to reveal more of your puzzle? But what do you do when He does? What if it’s still only a few pieces?
I almost wish that this post was about how to deal with the frustrations of waiting but it’s not. I wish that I could tell you about how to piece all those pieces together but I can’t. God has a plan and we have to simply submit to His will. Patience is not easy but prayer certainly helps.
Instead of elaborating on those things, I want to talk about showing off our puzzle pieces before the time is right.
On of my favorite devotional books of all time is Nehemiah by Kelly Minter. I’ve long since finished the book but one passage still sticks in my mind. There’s a verse from the second week that God keeps reminding me of.
And I told no one what my God has put into my heart to do. Nehemiah 2:12
She speaks of the verse in the first half the lesson but I brushed over it and went on to the remaining parts. As days passed, it continued to come back to me like some amazing yo-yo trick.
This reminder has become more prominent as God continues to reveal more of my puzzle. I’m seeing more color. There’s an image forming (even if I can’t quite tell what it is yet — even five years later!). I’m excited about where I think this is going and I simply want to talk to anyone that will listen. Unfortunately (and very fortunately), God keeps quieting me.
Although I feel a little like a corrected child, I am reminded that I’m in good company.
David was anointed as a very young man by Samuel. (1 Samuel 16) His brothers were all passed over and David was chosen. Yet, David had to endure much before it was time for him to become king. After his anointing, he worked for King Saul, encountered Goliath, ran for his life as King Saul tried to kill him, builds the misfit army of David’s Mighty Men, spares King Saul’s life twice, grieves the loss of a best friend, and eventually is made king. I would have been tempted to tell everyone I encounter that they better respect me because some day I would be king. Not David. We have no record of his telling anyone about his anointing.
Mary stored up the early memories of Jesus and pondered them in her hear. (Luke 2: 19) Mary knew that Jesus was the Messiah – the angel had told her. She was a firsthand witness to the birth (obviously), the shepherds, and all the other wonders of Jesus’ childhood. Even as the shepherds went out (v. 18) and told everyone what they had witnessed, Mary ‘treasured up all these things.’ She knew who Jesus was. She could have told everyone about her experiences to make herself more important in the story but she kept these things to herself.
Nehemiah kept secret the God given plan he had until it was fuller in picture. He wasn’t questioning what God had placed on his heart. He didn’t assess the crumbled wall and walk away telling God that He was a fool because the wall was too far gone.
He knew what God had called him to do. He wanted God’s full picture and we was willing to keep his mouth shut until he had it. He wanted to have God’s action plan and he didn’t need naysayers throwing in their negativity or the helpful folks tossing in their better ideas. That’s probably why he went out to assess the wall alone.
He knew God would make all things clear in His timing. (Nehemiah 2: 9-20)
Even though we think we know where the few flipped puzzle pieces are going, God alone knows how they all fit together to form a God-story. David and Mary couldn’t have known where the pieces they had were going. Even their wildest of dreams wouldn’t have put the story together the way God did.
Nehemiah didn’t need opinions to cloud the voice of God. He wanted God’s vision. Period. Further, Nehemiah had his collected knowledge, his call, and an audience that hadn’t collected a gossip-driven story when he presented his plan.
There are things to do until it’s time to present the vision God gave us. God-dreams take development. They take prayer. They take fasting. They take some planning. Occasionally, they take support from others — even if they don’t yet know what they’re supporting. 🙂
The dream is inside me. Not someone else. They aren’t going to have my burning coals. They don’t possess my passions to quiet the human-logic concerns. God built the dream and God is the one that needs to develop it.
It’s difficult not to talk about every new puzzle piece that God reveals but sharing the pieces with multiple hands only damages the corners of the pieces. It’s necessary to wait for God’s timing. Only in His timing does the puzzle have the power and beauty that He designed for it to possess.
It’s hard to wait but it’s so worth it. Just look at David, Mary, or Nehemiah.