Often, we look back and see God’s hands in the most seemingly hopeless of situations. I think that’s the mysterious beauty of God. He’s fully aware of all our questions but wants us to trust him nonetheless. He wants to reveal his love and all his good plans for us. But we have to learn to accept that his timing is not the same as our timing. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). Take the life of Mary for example. How she learned how to wait, listen, and trust. How she dealt with all of the unanswered questions and events that made no sense to her in the midst of them. How many times did she question God, asking why? Why did her entire young life need to be uprooted when she was about to be married and everything was going just fine? Why did she have to watch her son be so undeservingly tormented all the way up to his eventual, humiliating death? Why her? Why did God think she was the one for the job? To carry the responsibility of mothering the savior of the world?
Because he knew. He knew her. He knew her better than she knew herself. He knew she would trust Him in the absence of human explanation. He knew she would learn to wait and remain faithful in her suffering. He knew she could be entrusted to raise Jesus as her beloved son and at the same time respect the power and glory she’d seen enough to realize when he actually knew better than her. He knew she would be by his side at the cross, hoping that he would still come through in some “nick of time” way beyond her immediate understanding. And, no doubt, he would come through for her and for the entire population of humanity. But not yet. Not before it was finished. He had big plans for her life, but she had to walk in faith and believe that he knew what he was doing.
Okay, so you may be thinking that’s great about Mary. What about the rest of us in this unpredictable, unnerving season? I believe the answer is the same. I think all God asks us to do in times where life is disrupted, we don’t have answers, and none of it makes sense, is to wait, listen, and trust as best we can. So, in a sense, I’m Mary. We’re all Mary. And he’s an all-loving, all-powerful God who is weaving “all things together for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). That includes you and me.
Personally, the past few years have been a whirlwind and I just desperately wanted a pause button on life. I so wished the world would “stop” for just a few hours while I could sit, breathe, and spend a bit of time simply picking up where I left off with God (when I last had time for him). I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from going here, there, everywhere, striving to please everyone and not knowing how to say no. Then, bam. Hello, global pandemic. At first, yes, what a thorn in my side this was. This annoying interruption was ruining everything I had planned. But eventually I had to reset my perspective on the notion that this could be a blessing in disguise. I was forced to sit still and focus on what was important. And God knew that’s what my soul needed – an involuntary reboot.
I thought to myself, “Could it be that the God of the universe would go and upend the whole world just for me?” Like he did for Mary? I don’t know. Maybe. He could. And he says he would. He does not want anyone to be lost. Matthew 18:12 tells us he is like a shepherd who would leave his ninety-nine other sheep just to chase after the one that has gone astray. He loves each one of us as his precious children and knows “the very hairs of your head” (Matt. 10:30). He’s a father big enough to know every single detail of every person’s thoughts, hearts, and lives. He longs for every soul to be saved. He does what he does in authentic love to bring us back to him. So, not only would he stop the world for me and you, but for every person that calls out to him by the name of Jesus.
Matthew 6:32 tells us that our heavenly Father already knows all our needs. He knows even before we know. But we must be patient and realize we don’t have control of how and when each need is met. Psalms 51:10 tells us he wants to “renew a steadfast spirit within” us, which means he will lead us to our victory in the waiting. While we’re waiting, if we listen to his voice, we can trust he has our best interest in mind. Wait, listen, and trust. He will do the rest and, in his timing, prove his ability to never fail us. He will not fail us, even in the bad times when we feel as if life has completely taken a wrong turn and everything is messed up. Even in the detours, he will use these as “pit stops” to repair a part of us that needs to be fully functioning in order to get back to the beautiful course he has planned for us. James 1:3-4 says it like this: “Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” We will look on the other side of this mess and see the miracles that were taking place in the midst of what feels like complete chaos. I promise you… our victory is in the waiting. Praying for all of your beautiful hearts as we venture on with homeschooling, home-working, quarantining, and doing all that He has called us to do.