Just Do It Part 4: In the Dark

“Known to God from eternity are all His works.”

– Acts 15:18.

ImageWhen it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness and nothing makes sense… When the dreams in your heart feel like distant memories burning a hole inside you… It’s easy to think God has forgotten you.

But sometimes God chooses to work while we are in the dark.

“Look, I go forward, but He is not there,

And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;

When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him,

When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him,”

Job 23:8-9, NKJ.

There have been many life circumstances that seemed to lead away from the dreams God had placed in my heart. One day I sensed God challenging me that I was worshipping and pursuing my dreams more than Him, and that He needed to be enough for me.

So I slowly surrendered, letting the dreams I’d been clutching fall out of my hands, which were now open before my Father. I whispered, cried, and proclaimed, “Take EVERYTHING. There is nothing I will hold back. I want You more than all of these.” (I didn’t mean it at first, but His grace is sufficient, and slowly I began to mean the words I prayed day after day.)

He calls us not to despise our dreams, but to surrender them over and over, to wrestle with the desire, and to say, “I’m Yours anyway. I choose You anyway.” Then He’ll either replace it with His dream for us, or fulfill it in His time.

In the surrender of my dreams, His word and presence became life to me.

“My foot has held fast to His steps;

I have kept His way and not turned aside…

I have treasured the words of His mouth

More than my necessary food,”

Job 23:11-12, NKJ.

Working a 9-5 job kept me on my knees, praying, “Lord, why do I have to be single? If you have something for me to do while I’m single, then take as long as you want. But there is nothing in my life that keeps me from being married right now! So why singleness?”

I didn’t realize that four years later I would need to be single.

When, in shock, I opened a rejection letter from a job application in Asia, I asked, “Lord, why New York? I actually WANT You to send me overseas! Why would You keep me here?”

I didn’t know that He was aligning my heart and steps with like-minded people, or preparing me to speak in my own country.

Every time I surrendered once again, walked away from my dreams, I had no idea that in the darkness He was working. I had no idea that deep, ripping surrender brings rich rewards.

“But He knows the way in which I take;

When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold,”

Job 23:10, NKJ.

This year everything became crystal clear. As I drove cross-country, living the very beginnings of the huge dreams stored in my soul, it dawned on me:

“God, you’ve known about this forever, haven’t you?

You’ve been putting things in play before I ever realized you were moving!” 

It hit me then, in that moment of clarity:

He’s been setting this up FOR YEARS!! Before I had a clue!

Sometimes we don’t see the fullness of our dreams fulfilled in our lives, just as Abraham and other heroes of the faith knew the Messiah was coming but never saw it with their physical eyes. Yet even then, without receiving the fullness in their own lifetimes, God was working in the darkness.

“All these people died still believing what God had promised them.

They did not receive what was promised,

but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it,”

Hebrews 11:13, NLT.

Right now, wherever you are, God has been and is putting things into play that you cannot see.

When everything seems silent and dark, it’s not. He’s working. He is strategically setting pieces in place so that at the designated moment in history you can do what He’s called you to do.

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