“What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” – John 13:7
And so it is with much of our journeying with Jesus. What He is doing today often does not have a clarified sense to it until the afterward finds us. Maybe this is our greatest challenge – to wait on God to give the sense to a matter. We are hungry little children who cry out in impulse for what we want in the very moment we first want it. None of us prefers to wait if we think we can hold something in our hands immediately – questions are distasteful, answers are fulfilling. Yet we are frequently made to wait with God. He loves us but will not allow us to rush Him. He takes care of us but not with the promise to prevent every uncomfortable moment or delayed event. He promises us many things but rarely fulfills those promises according to the natural or according to our own inner-stopwatch. The lives He feeds us with are deeply flavorful and His aromas and tastes cannot be produced in a microwaved minute. He marinates things for us and allows them to simmer. He is preparing other things for us as He works on that one thing that has all our attention at the moment – we often do not think about this component. God then allows all those things He has been preparing to cool down a bit; then He sets the table and then He invites others to feast with us which surprises us because we had been unknowingly making the whole delay about us and our needs and our hunger. We had forgotten that God intends what He prepares for us to also become a blessing for others. Then He spreads a table for us and them and, once we begin to take in what He took His time preparing for us… we understand what He was doing.
We do not always understand things during His time of preparation. We mistake His unseen hand for an idle hand if we are not careful. Yet the Lord would have us to know that He is always working on our behalf. His own name has been invested in us so He has abiding interest in your story. You and I crave to know every word in the next chapter but He is not willing to give us that glimpse. He desires us to savor what is written for today so that we will not always be putting Him off for tomorrow. The hardest lesson for many of us is that God refuses to rush. He never panics with you. He knows nothing of alarm or impatience. What He is doing now, you do not understand.
“But afterward you will understand.” So trust Him while today’s chapter plays out. The next chapter may give all the meaning to it. He is both writing something beautiful and cooking something delightful for you.