I was walking a couple of weeks ago, pondering, pleading, and my normal whining in a chat I was having with God. I always want hard evidence. I always want proof. I am a lot like Thomas in that, I want to taste, touch, feel the evidence of what I am being told. I want to judge for myself whether what has been said to me is true. When this comes to matters that God has revealed and is leading us in, this is very unhealthy. As I was going through my whining session I felt God say to me,
“You want an answer in hand. That’s not the way I work.”
That was it; nothing else was needed to be said. So as I continued to walk I thought about that. I hadn’t heard that phrase before, but I knew what it meant. I began to think of phrases I have heard of that were similar. I thought of the phrase “cash in hand, “often used when someone does work meaning that you work and you will get your wages immediately. If you go to buy something with “cash in hand” you have the evidence right there that you can purchase something. It is all about visible proof, evidence, and verification that you have the physical value to purchase something or have worked for something. In God’s dynamic…is that faith?
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is another phrase that I thought of, which means it's better to have a small real advantage than the possibility of a greater one. Yikes, how well does that fit in with faith?
All this to say, when God reveals His plans to you, they may often seem unbelievable. The thing we have to remember is that He speaks the unbelievable into reality. He breathes life into dirt and we have humanity. He speaks the cosmos into existence. He speaks, and our impossibility becomes reality…but it happens as He wants it to and in His time.
When will I ever learn? Will I ever learn? An answer in hand isn’t worth the beautiful journey on which He leads me to get to the reality He already has set up for me. Hebrews 11 calls out of those that went through this process. In the words of Francis Chan, “I want to look weird.” Someone that walks around expecting an answer in hand won’t look to weird; rather, they would look very normal.
The answer is there, He speaks it to us. Do we listen? Do we act on it? Do we obey? Do we run? Do we cry and moan about the length of time? Do we trust? Do we just sit back and let Him do what He does and just be ok with that?
May we, as we go through this journey with Him, be open to His voice and obedient to His leading. May we rejoice in the mean-times. May we hold close the promises He has made and live a life of joy as we approach the promises He has made, knowing it is impossible for Him to not come through on what He has promised.