I suppose I can imagine why some people enjoy jigsaw puzzles. There is that tiny thrill in discovering a match for a single puzzle piece. I get it. Sort of.
But for me, a puzzle is just a nagging, unfinished project. A giant to-do list, with each puzzle piece its own line item.
Not my idea of fun.
Even worse is the casual puzzle table, set up without anyone actively working on it. The scattered pieces take up space for days on end, with no apparent progress.
I want to see the finished product. Either that, or I want to forget that the puzzle is even there.
Too often, I find myself looking at life the same way. Nothing changes for days or weeks, while the hope and promise of “some day” taunts more than it encourages. I’ve been looking forward to “some day” for what seems like forever, and it doesn’t seem to come any closer.
- Some day, writing will be easy. I’ll spin thoughts into gold in minutes instead of battling sentences for hours.
- Some day, revenue from Edify Hub will catch up with its development expenses, and we’ll stop bleeding cash every month.
- Some day, we will all have our daily prayer lists updated automatically with up-to-the-minute needs of friends, missionaries and family members around the world.
- Some day, an encouragement record will be updated automatically to let them know we prayed for them.
- Some day, my besetting sins won’t be such a temptation.
- Some day, I’ll be more mature than I am today.
- Some day, I’ll be with Christ in the presence of God.
Maybe you’re clinging to hope, waiting for a “some day” of your own:
- Waiting for education – “Will I ever learn? Will I ever graduate?”
- Waiting for a spouse
- Waiting to have children
- Waiting for a job
- Waiting for a new church or ministry to grow
- Waiting for an income or support level to reach a new milestone
- Waiting to finish deputation and hit the mission field
- Waiting to be smarter or have more experience
Is It “Some Day” Yet?
Let’s face it. We like the future. It gives us hope that things won’t always be as they are today.
But sometimes things just take a bit longer than we think they should. When that happens, our hope can turn to doubt.
Think about Abraham.
I can’t think of a clearer promise than one given directly by God. Abraham would have a son.
But eventually, hope faded, and Abraham took matters into his own hands.
Or consider the men on the Emmaus Road. The promise of Christ’s resurrection was kept! But these men were blind to its fulfillment.
“But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.”
Promises For Me
- God is Good – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
- God is With Me – “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – Hebrews 13:5b
- God is Coming Again – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness…” – 2 Peter 3:9
OK, I know these. But when life presents a pile of puzzle pieces waiting to be figured out, these promises are easy to forget.
When I can’t see the fulfilment of the promise, dangers approach:
- I’m tempted to blame myself. “I don’t deserve this promise, so it probably won’t happen.” While it’s true that I don’t deserve any of God’s promises, His integrity does not depend on my worthiness.
- I’m tempted to doubt the promise. “Was it really a promise, or did I imagine it?” Some things really aren’t promises, but are simply my human hopes and dreams. But if the Bible calls it out as something God will do, I can count on it.
- I’m tempted to force the promise. “I know this is supposed to happen, so I’ll make sure it does – now.” Like Abraham did with Hagar, I can find myself impatient with God’s timing. This is one of the greatest dangers, because acting without faith here can cause devastating consequences for years to come.
What do I do?
So, I’ve found myself with that pile of puzzle pieces, unable to see how things are going to work out toward that final picture. Now what?
Here are three ideas to move forward and get past the frustration of delay.
- Give your energy and attention to the responsibilities you have today. Sometimes there’s an area God wants to correct in your life before you’ll see the promise fulfilled. Keep following the steps you know. Taking obedient action today – even if it seems completely unrelated – can help set aside those feelings of impatience waiting for the promise.
- Take time to be grateful for today’s blessings. Sometimes the fulfilment of the promise won’t look like you expect it to. Stop staring at the piles of pieces and take a moment to review the part of the picture that has already come together. Consider one of Lana’s ideas for remembering and reviewing your daily blessings.
- Create some joy for someone else today. Sometimes the time just isn’t right for the promise to be fulfilled. Shifting your focus from your own challenges to lift someone else’s spirits may be just what you need to help you see your next step.
What else can we do when the things we’re waiting for seem to be so slow in coming?
Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.