27 Feb For Such a Time as This- Amber Richardson Ross
I remember a song I heard when I was a teenager. It talked about trying to chase your dreams and finally making a move to do something and wondering if maybe the reason you hadn’t fulfilled any of them yet was because it wasn’t supposed to happen until now. That it was for such a time as this. I think that’s how God works in almost every single thing he does. He waits until the perfect time. Whether that be your dreams coming true and your purpose being fulfilled, or getting a healing you’ve prayed years for. I believe He brings us to the place of what we need when it’s the right time for it to happen. And His timing doesn’t always match ours. We pray for what we want or need and we pray it happens instantly. Which is ok, actually. God encourages us to come and bring our needs to Him when we need it, and He says He will hear you and He will answer you. But it may not be the answer you want.
I was talking to my mom recently and saying that I just felt my prayers were hitting the ceiling then coming back down and smacking me on the head. I felt like God was just being silent and not answering me. She told me she didn’t believe there was any such thing as an unanswered prayer. She said God answers every prayer we pray every time…it just may not be the answer we want. Sometimes, He says no. Sometimes, He says yes. And sometimes, He says not yet. I think we often mistake the “not yets” for unanswered prayers. But isn’t that the hardest answer for anyone to accept? Because the not yet causes it to stay on our minds. It prevents closure to the question or situation. That leaves you staying put. I started to say “stuck” but I don’t want you to mistake what I’m saying. Staying put can definitely give the impression of being stuck. It can definitely make us feel trapped in our pain and worry and fear with no way to know which way to step. And then we panic. And panic usually makes us do things to try to force an answer which only makes things worse for us. So, because God knows that I need to learn patience in the pain, what does He do? He usually gives me a not yet. Sometimes a mountain we are facing isn’t about that mountain, but instead more about the journey to the top of it that’s going to be our victory. See that’s the thing about us and God. The created and the Creator. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He sees the places in us that we haven’t even discovered yet. He knows that when we are crying out on our knees saying “I can’t go any further! This is too much!” He knows, it’s not. He knows we can go further and we can take more. He knows what we are capable of and how strong we are when we climb those mountains holding His hand.
We can never know what it’s like to be at our strongest and what we can accomplish and overcome if we don’t put the work in to get there. Taking us from where we are and just slinging us over that mountain to the other side would be great! We wouldn’t hurt or struggle, but we would have no concept of what it was like to walk with God. We wouldn’t understand what it felt like to not just rely on Him, but to feel Him carry us and love on us. Why would you rely on something you don’t need to rely on? We might not go so far as to say “I don’t need You God” but we probably wouldn’t give Him the praise He deserved and wouldn’t have the devotion to Him that we need to have.
I think the thing that gets in my way the most when I’m struggling, is me. I am aware that I can’t do something better than God can. I know He is all powerful, all knowing, and can take this from me. Still, I try to manipulate the situation to get my answer when I know good and well He’s saying not yet. He created me to be more than a conqueror when He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He sees the big picture. The whole story. He’s read the book and He knows what happens at the end. Think of it this way, when you pray and ask something of God and He says yes, did you have to exercise your faith at all? Probably not because you got what you wanted when you wanted it and you didn’t have to believe it would happen. If He says no, did you have to work that faith then? Doubtful because you got an answer.
You know there’s no point in having the faith to believe it will change, so you move to healing from it. But if you get a not yet, what do you have to do? You have to trust that He is doing something. You have to have hope that there is something going on somewhere that is working for your good. And you have to believe that He heard you and is going to do something at some point, just not right now. You have to have FAITH. Our faith is put to the test when we get a not yet answer. It’s all we can do.
My dad always told me “When you don’t know which way to go, stand.” And that’s exactly what we do when our answer has been not yet. We stand. We aren’t stuck because stuck means you can’t get out. Standing is a choice. Standing is choosing to not try to go left or right because you know that you don’t know which one is the right way. And you know that you’ve cried out which direction and God said not yet so you know that for one reason or another, He’s keeping you right here. But you don’t HAVE to stay there. You can go on the left and see what happens. Or you can dart out towards the right and see where that road takes you. But every time you are going to be stepping right out of where God intends you to be. We don’t have to know why God makes us wait. We just have to believe that what He is doing is for a reason that is for our good. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord.” Have you stopped to really dissect that scripture? First off, He says ALL things. Not some things. Not most things. But ALL things. That means that every single thing that you encounter is going to end up working out in the end for your good. Everything. That alone is something to give us faith in a trial. The scripture goes on to say “together.” All our trials, all our lessons, they work together and all become intertwined.
After my divorce, I prayed constantly for healing. And it didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen for years actually. I hurt for a very long time. When I finally felt like I was healed and doing well, I met the man I had prayed for. I thought things would just be wonderful and easy and I would start this new life with this wonderful man. But it didn’t happen that way. What I found out after my wonderful husband and I married is that God waited to complete my healing for such a time as this. There were things that weren’t going to be completed in me until I was in a place to put some action behind what I’d learned the years between my divorce and my new marriage. Let me tell you, there was all sorts of not so fun stuff that came out of the woodwork of my heart that I didn’t realize I had held on to. I didn’t put any action into healing those things because I hadn’t had to yet. It just wasn’t time. But when I got married again, I had to face some things that as it turns out, still scared me and still haunted me and still shook me. I had to go back to the dark places and remind myself of what I learned there and put it into action now. You see the pattern? All things worked together.
The things I’d learned in the past came together to be put into action for the things I was facing in the present. The lessons I learned during those years helped me to make better choices in my new marriage. I learned the lessons. I experienced God and His love in a different way. And if I buckled down and faced what scared me the most, it would work for my good. It didn’t mean my prayers weren’t heard. It just meant God said, “Not yet. You’re going to get to a place where you will be completely restored, but it can’t happen right now”. But it was going to happen. And He knew that when I got married again, it would be time. For such a time as this, my healing would be fully and beautifully fulfilled.
Written by Amber Richardson Ross