I have a confession to make. It’s not anything bad…just something you might not know about me yet. I am driven. That’s my personality. I’m driven – especially driven to finish.
If I start a puzzle, I don’t stop until it’s done. I’ve been known to do a 1000 piece puzzle in two or three days. If I’m reading a book, I stay up until the wee hours to finish it.
I don’t like things hanging over my head, so long-term projects are not my forte. It can get a little frustrating to me and weigh heavy if it’s not something I can finish quickly. But if you want your house cleaned from top to bottom in one day, I’m your gal.
I was reading in Numbers 14 and 15 today, and this really struck me:
Then the Lord told Moses, “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. “When you finally settle in the land I am giving you, you will offer special gifts as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. (Numbers 15:1-3)
The spies had just gotten back from spying. They had just given their bad report to the people. God had just told them they wouldn’t be entering the Promised Land for 40 years.
And here He is talking to them about something that isn’t going to happen for 40 years. Forty Years!
Whoa! Let that sink in for a minute.
Now let’s contrast this with today. With us. He speaks to us and we immediately think, “Now, now, now!!! It has to be now!” And when it’s not now, we let go of it like a hot potato. Like me with a long-term project.
We think, “Oh well. Guess I must have missed it. I’m too old now. I’ve missed the boat. If it was going to happen, it would have by now. Let’s move on to plan B.”
And we release it when all along God’s thinking, “Wait! What are you doing? It really hasn’t been that long since I told you that. You’re almost there. Don’t let go!”
Time. We’re ruled by it. We measure everything by it. It’s either flying or dragging by. We either have too much of it (don’t I wish) or not enough of it.
We are governed by time, but God isn’t. And He has a different perspective of it than we do. We think a 5-year plan is a long-term goal, but He was totally fine with talking to the Israelites about something that wouldn’t happen for 40 years.
We let time discourage us. We get frustrated if it takes longer than we thought. If the road isn’t as smooth as we thought it would be or if it’s a lot more work than we imagined it to be.
We let go when reality doesn’t line up with the picture we had in our head when He first planted the dream in our heart. We let go when our 5-year plan starts looking more like a 40-year plan.
To be honest, I’ve almost let go several times. Lots of times. For these very reasons.
And some people may look at me and say, “Really? You? Let go? But look at you. Look at what you’re getting to do!”
But there are things He spoke to me – dreams He inspired in me – 25 years ago that aren’t even on the horizon yet. Talk about a long-term project!
But then I read this in Numbers 15 and think, “Psht….it’s only been 25 years and I’m only 44 years old. There’s plenty of time. Lord, I trust your plan.”
Everyone at one time or another gets discouraged and thinks, “When, God? When???” Or gets distracted. Or loses hope and almost lets go. That’s just human nature and that’s normal.
The key to walking it out to the end…to walking in everything He puts in our hearts…is not giving up.
I’m so thankful that in those times of discouragement when I’ve felt like quitting…like giving up and letting go…He’s always brought encouragement to me to stay the course.
Sometimes it’s been through a scripture I read that day. Or through my husband. Or my best friend. Or a voicemail from someone that was praying for me or a text message at just the right time. Or through a Facebook post.
Sometimes it was a blog I read that day that brought just the right encouragement to hold on when I was ready to give up.
So if that’s you – ready to give up – be encouraged. Don’t let go! Don’t give up! Stay the course. If He put a dream in your heart, it will come to pass. Did you hear me? It will come to pass!
It’s only a matter of time. Be patient and trust Him. He knows what He’s doing.
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6)