By Nicole VanGelder I was driving with my children all in the van the other day. We were making a trip we’ve made hundreds–maybe even thousands–of times. My two year old daughter, who sits in the row behind me, was telling me jokes. Make that “joke”. She was repeating the same joke over and over again. Want to hear it? It’s a good one…”Why did the cookie go to the doctor? Because he was feeling crumby.” (Get it? Crumby, instead of crummy. Cause he’s a cookie. And they have crumbs. What a good one!) After laughing with delight the first dozen or so times that she told it, my attention began to drift a bit. I started thinking about other things. I still gave a token laugh on cue, but I was no longer really in the moment. After a little time had passed, she said, “No, Mommy. Don’t laugh. That’s not funny. That’s sad.” I realized too late that she had changed up her joke. It was no longer about a cookie, but she had asked why someone else (I don’t remember who) had gone to the doctor. And the answer was “Because they were sick”. Now my laughter was no longer the appropriate response. As soon as I realized that, I was jolted back to the conversation. I was now paying attention, but I have to admit that I had missed it.
Later that night I was reminded of that moment in the van. I felt like the Lord was saying to me, “Don’t think you know what I am doing. Don’t get comfortable and stop paying attention and miss it”. And I realized that it is all too easy to do that. (At least for me.) I have been hearing for so long that we are in a “season of transition”. I have been hearing that we are on the “edge of breakthrough”. I have heard all kinds of exciting and awesome promises and prophetic words. What I have realized though, is that in the midst of that, my heart has gotten…well, apathetic, if I am honest. Most of the promises have felt more like they are for the someday, rather then the now. I have grown comfortable existing in “transition”. I have forgotten that while a thousand years is like a day for the Lord (I mean, really, doesn’t it sometimes feel like we are waiting forever?), He also can change everything in just a moment. The question is, will I be ready in that moment? Will my heart be soft, my ears alert and my eyes watchful?
When I woke up this morning, Matthew 6 was on my heart. (Okay, I confess, I didn’t get out of the warm covers immediately to grab my Bible and open it up. I guess I was still feeling a little too comfortable.) However, when I did read it, this is what I found: Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. (Plus a whole bunch of other stuff.) If you are thinking, “Huh?” So was I. And then tonight I read it again in different versions. And this is how the above verse reads in The Message: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” The whole verse is good. But, what was the Lord saying to me? Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now.
Okay. I think I am starting to get it. I need to be paying attention. I need to stop thinking I know what is coming next. I need to stop being too comfortable to be disturbed right now. I’m listening Lord. I’m watching. I’m waiting–but as one alert, at attention, eagerly anticipating with faith, what is about to happen… If I may be so bold, may I ask you to join me? Let’s pay attention to what God is doing right now together, stirring our faith and watching with eager expectation. We will probably still be surprised (God is so complex and so much better then I can ever imagine–He never ceases to amaze me!), but at least we won’t be caught off guard. Blessings to you in your “waiting”! :)