My life has been spent dreaming and planning and trying to get to the place where everything is set. When I was a teen I wanted to get married, I wanted to know who I would spend the rest of my life with. The anticipation of these wonderful plans and dreams is one of my favorite parts. I love the planning and the process of “getting there”, but I tend to only enjoy it if it is attached to the promise of fruition. I don’t like sudden changes as I shared before, and when something is set in my mind I don’t like it to be taken away. I don’t like surprises. I like things set in stone so I can plan each detail needed until the time comes. In fact, most of the time when the groundwork has been laid and prepared, I like to hand off the actual event to someone else to execute.
All too often I expect God to be the one to execute the thing I have planned, hoped, and dreamed for. After all he is the only one we can trust to do so. Correct? Nope. It doesn’t work that way.
So often God says, “No, I want you to live in the unfinished work that I have given you.” More accurately, we, and our lives, are the unfinished work. Attempting to buck that system leads to fear, frustration, and constantly needing to control everything. God is teaching me to appreciate and enjoy the unfinished.
Sometimes, unfinished can just mean that you are not sure how something that must be done is going to get done. I like foundations. It is hard to prepare for something if you don’t know what that something is exactly. The process of fostering/adopting for us is like that. We are spending a lot of time preparing to have kids in our home, but we don’t know what age/sex they will be. Just one example of the unfinished in our life.
Recently I saw a video of a scientist presenting on a show. He had a large empty aquarium. It had a hose inside. It looked completely empty. He turned on a fog machine and it sent fog through the hose. As the fog hit the aquarium suddenly you realized that it was filled with an invisible gas that the fog settled upon. Then he floated a paper boat on the surface. Any logical mind would have expected the boat to sink. Every one was surprised when it floated across the top cutting through the fog easily. Every one except the scientist. You see, that scientist had understanding of not only the fact that the invisible gas existed, but he also understood how the gas worked and that the fog and boat could be supported by it.
I feel like this is what my life is. My understanding of God and his working affects what I believe will happen.
For the first time in my life I feel peace through all of this. I don’t know what God is doing, but I am glad I don’t have to see him to know he is there supporting us. Think of it this way. At Christmas, we look forward to our children opening the gifts we spend weeks/months planning and buying for them. We know what is inside and can’t wait to see our children’s anticipation and the joy on their face when they open them. God has everything waiting in the wings for us. All the good, all the plans, all the support. Now imagine how we feel at Christmas when we know it is coming, we see glimpses of presents appearing under the tree, the anticipation builds and we cannot wait to open them. All the torture of the wait is forgotten while on that morning we get to open and store our treasure up. We tell all our friends what we got and the joy spreads out into the corners of our lives. What would it be like if we demanded to know what our presents were and complained for weeks about how much we needed to know, so we could plan out our future.
This is like life. Take a breath. Let God take your little boat through the fog on an invisible lake. Let yourself and others be amazed at how looking at your life logically makes no sense unless you know the God who sustains it. Enjoy the journey. He has already won the war, we can weather each battle with confidence and unshakable joy!