Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going,
so how can we know the way?”
– John 14:5
Do you know what I most want right now? The details.
“Sit me down, God,” I pray, “Press some heavenly remote that lowers a screen from the clouds above—one big enough to make the guys at Best Buy cry with envy.”
This is my prayer…”God, would you light up that screen with an mighty slideshow of your plan for my life? I’ll bring the popcorn and you narrate, God, slide by colorful slide! But, please, tell me…what is waiting just up the road?”
Wouldn’t it be nice if God would show us what lies ahead?
Do you know what I mean? I’m betting you do. We all have questions floating above our heads at any given moment… and many are unanswered:
Are my kids in the right schools?
Will they be safe there?
Will my husband’s business survive the recession?
Will you use my life, Lord, to make a difference here in some way?
Should we move? Should we stay?
Will I find the right job?
The most difficult of questions shake the deepest part of our soul. These are questions like, “Will my loved one survive this surgery?” Or, “Will I end up alone?” Other questions suck the wind right out of our lungs:
“Will my child be healed, God?”
So we ask and we wait, but God is silent.
I admit, at times I am angry about it. I’m only asking for a few important details, right? Why must I remain in a state of not knowing?
Let me tell you a story:
When I was 25, everything about my life in Ohio was falling apart. My job wasn’t exactly what I would call a “career,” and I was weary of dating. I longed to find the right man to marry, but I had a knack for picking runners… you know, the guys who didn’t want to settle down.
I owned a Mustang 5.0 that would have made Vanilla Ice jealous. It looked good, too, out there on the parking lot of my apartment complex where it sat broken down for 80% of the time that I owned it. I couldn’t afford to keep fixing it up, and Ohio winters are scary cold to be cycling all over town.
Despite all of this, I held on to Ohio like a spoiled child with a new toy at Target. I knew that God was calling me to move to North Carolina, but I stomped my feet and threw a temper tantrum. To me, moving was admitting failure.
I didn’t want to give up my meager job (that wasn’t even close to paying the bills) and mess of painful relationships (Lord, what was I thinking, anyway?) to head to some unknown place with my tail tucked between my legs.
One day while jogging I stopped at an overpass to watch the cars traveling on Interstate I-270. I watched the flow of people motoring southward until the cars disappeared in the distance. I needed to follow them, but I was scared. There were so many things that I didn’t know.
That night, I paced my lonely apartment struggling with the decision. Oh, that God would just show me the complete plan! How could I move to a place I didn’t know?
Then He spoke to me in His sweet Fatherly way, His quiet voice settling over my restless heart:
Not knowing allows room for faith to grow.
Not knowing creates a space for miracles to happen.
When the sun chased the darkness of that night away, my decision was made. I decided I would trust God. I would take that next step, even if I had no idea where it would eventually lead. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made.
God is faithful.
Three years later, I had a career (a real one!), and had met the man who would stand at the end of a rose petal-covered aisle with tears running down his cheeks. Yes, we married and had two wonderful children. We have had ups and downs, but oh, we have had many laughs. Rolling bellyfuls of sweet laughter.
We all long for the details, but typically God asks us to trust Him instead. If you, too, are desperate for answers, longing to know what lies ahead for you and your family, then maybe it’s time to let go and trust Him.
I’m still learning. For the last few days I have cried out for answers. I’ve been pressing on to a dream of mine, and I’ve come to what seems to be a dead end. Every day this week, I have prayed, “Just show me, God, the details…. what lies ahead?” God only whispers, “Trust Me.”
All I can see is the very next step, and that step … is letting go. I don’t want to let go of my dream any more than I wanted to let go of Ohio, but I remember that God was faithful to me in the past even though the obstacles seemed insurmountable. So I am choosing to let go… and trust Him… again.
In your own life, whatever answers are yet to be made clear to you, know this: it’s okay to not know. God is good, and He is faithful. He holds the map of our life, and promises to lead us perfectly, step by step, all the way home.
For who is God besides Yahweh?
And who is a rock? Only our God.
God—He clothes me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
– Psalm 18:31-32
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