There are three possible answers to each and every question: Yes! No? Not Yet?! You may may think there are any number of other possible answers to a question, but in the end, if you’re asking the Good Lord, one of these three is the response you will get. We all like to hear the first: Yes! We all hate to hear the second: No? And we are all often confused by the third: Not Yet?! We are so like children…
It is great when you get a yes! That means go ahead…do it! Everything is in place and you are ready to take that step. God is telling us that he has gone before us and made sure that what is about to happen has been planned out and is ready to be perused. Buy that new truck! Take that job! Start that ministry! You’ve prepared, you’re ready…go for it!
It’s not so great when you hear a no. I think I’m ready! I know what I’m doing! That looks like so much fun! What could possibly be wrong with that? What God is really telling us is that this or that is not the best that he has planned for us. This will take us off course. That will bring us trouble in the end. And that other thing will lead us away from him. Don’t go in there. Don’t commit to that. Don’t borrow that and become a slave to the lender…stop!
Not yet is a mixture of both. I hope I can get there someday. I’d really like to do that. Having that would really help. When God says not yet, he is really giving us a glimpse into our future. A look at what will be. He gives us hope that things will change and we can be different, better, healthier…maybe wealthier if that is in his plan. We all like to have the hope but are often a little disappointed that we’ll have to wait our turn.
In each of these answers, the Good Lord has buried an amazing amount of care and compassion. He loves us so much that when the time is right he says a big-hearted, “Yes!” He also loves us so much that when he in his wisdom knows that something will bring us harm or struggle, he says, “No.” And his amazing love for us shines even brighter when he says, “not yet”, for it is in this “not yet” that we are told that we are on the right track and to keep going. It will happen. I’m putting the pieces together for you. Listen and I’ll tell you when to move ahead!
I have learned to appreciate all of the answers…I still complain a bit about the no’s but have come to really love the not yet. That is the one that motivates me. That is the one that encourages me. That is the one that really lets me know that I’m not in this life alone and that I’m moving in the right direction.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11