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Not Yet

My 6-year old recently decided he was going to learn to juggle.

He started out enthusiastic, confident. Within an hour, he was rolling on the floor, crying, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I’ll never be able to juggle!”

The absurdity of his premature despair almost made the scene laughable.

Sometime later, God casually asked me, “You know you do the same thing, right?”

Right.

There are several areas of my life I expected would be different by this point. And some days it feels tempting to accept this is just the way things are, rather than to persevere, to grow, to pray, to hope.

  • It’s hard to keep praying when the sky’s been cloudless for years.
  • Hard to watch the horizon, when your prodigal left for a far country so long ago.
  • Hard to conceive your brother will live, when he’s been dead for three days.

Doesn’t humility demand we accept that some things will never change?

No. Not humility. It’s pride that stands before the eternal Creator and His resurrected Son and declares, “Never.”

One of the greatest deceptions of the enemy is twisting God’s Not Yet into a Not Ever. We, on the other hand, keep our eyes on the crucified and resurrected One, and exchange despair’s Not Ever for God’s Not Yet.

Throughout the pages of Scripture, this is exactly what God’s faithful did.

For some, the Yes they’d waited for came while they walked the earth (see Heb. 11:32 – 34). For others it came after death (see Heb. 11:35 – 40).

Doesn’t humility demand we accept that some things will never change? No. Not humility. It’s pride that stands before the eternal Creator and His resurrected Son and declares, “Never.”

Not yet is, in essence, what Jesus answered his disciples when they urged him to assume his place as king (Mt. 16:21-23, Lk. 9:51-56).

And the Father must have been whispering something like, “Not yet,” to Jesus when he was tempted with a shortcut in the desert (Mt. 4:8 – 10) and a way out in the garden (Lk. 22:39-44).

A few months ago, I got an email from Steve. I first met Steve in 1999. In his forties, he’d felt homosexual desires most of his life. He participated actively in Regeneration groups for a few years and made good progress, deepening his relationship with Christ, experiencing healing for some past wounds, and gaining freedom from acting upon his homosexual urges. His homosexual desires remained, however, which was a disappointment to him. More than a decade passed.

In his recent email, he told me his homosexual attractions were finally gone: “Nothing specific and nothing special happened to mark the occasion of my deliverance from same-sex attraction. It just happened . . . As for when, it’s been several years, now. At first, I told no one and kept it to myself to make sure it was real. Gladly I can tell you, it is.”

I don’t know why God chooses to do miracles in some areas of our lives and not yet in other areas, why he chooses healing for some and not yet for others.

What will you do? Will you keep walking, keep asking, keep knocking?

  • Though you’ve never gone a week without it, keep seeking freedom from lust.
  • Though the fairy tale is ended, keep praying for love like Christ’s in your marriage.
  • Though every ‘happily ever after’ around you includes a couple, keep seeking contentment in Christ as a celibate single.
  • Though you’ve stumbled a thousand times, keep getting back up.
  • Though everyone around you seems to find a shortcut, take up your cross daily and follow.

When the veil of time is removed, when eternity rolls out before us and our lives on earth seem no longer than a few minutes, when we stand before the One who suffered for us and rose again, how many of us will seem like little children who threw ourselves down on the floor after only an hour?

O Lord, grant us to be faithful.

Where are you still waiting? Leave a comment below.

Not yet,
Josh

4 thoughts on “Not Yet”

  1. I am waiting for family members who do not know Christ to come to Jesus. In Mongolia our friends who are praying for family members to leave Buddhism or atheism say,”They do not believe yet.” Interesting that you should use that very phrase.
    I am also waiting to be delivered from a life long habit of turning to food to relieve anxiety. Not yet. Thanks, Josh,,fr the encouragement not tnmgive up.

  2. I am waiting to view the opposite sex as desirable. The other day I heard a message on church unity and felt convicted for not wanting to be unified with the opposite sex. I am wondering if homosexuality is like a division between two groups.

  3. What a beautiful piece….”when eternity rolls out before us and our lives on earth seem to be no more than a few minutes”. I can picture myself being embarrassed and sad that I didn’t give things more time instead of giving up

  4. This is inspiring! After 20 long, trying years in treatment, I am waiting for full healing from chronic depression, which God graciously promised me last year “when you are ready.” Lord, make me ready! Please help me to be faithful in the meantime.

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