I will never forget when my little niece Logan was going through her “not yet” phase. No matter what we were doing “not yet” was a constant refrain. One afternoon I was reading her a story and as I began to turn the page she shot her little hand down upon it. “Not yet,” she said. What was the problem I wondered? I thought I had given her plenty of time to take in that part of the story and to look at the pictures. What did she mean, “Not yet”?
It was many months later I found myself stuck. And angry. Not one to lose my temper I was literally clenching my fists in frustration over something I had hoped to accomplish more quickly. I had worked and waited a long time and I was ready to cross the finish line on that thing. I was on a walk thinking and praying when I remembered Logan and her “not yet” phase. I thought about the day I read her that story, and about how she laid her little hand down on the page. I was puzzling over the memory when I heard a whisper to my heart.
“Slow down. You’re rushing the story.”
“What?” I thought as I slowed my pace. “What story?” I asked almost out loud.
“The story of your life,” came the reply.
I was bewildered. And exasperated. “Lord, how on earth can I possibly rush the story of my life? I am the slowest person I know! Don’t you see what I am trying to do? I know this scene. I’ve been stuck in it for months. I am well acquainted with this page and I am more than ready to turn it.”
Gently, so gently, it was as if the Lord laid his hand down. Laid it over my restless heart. Laid it over the scene before me. And with great kindness said, “Not yet.”
I felt myself calming. And I felt God’s love for me even though I wished He had said something different. I didn’t understand, but I wanted to trust. I walked on. I kept thinking. And as I did I started getting the feeling that there was something very valuable on this particular page of my life, something… I just hadn’t seen yet.
I let go of my frustration. And a new response began forming in me. A response like this:
Lord, you are the author of my life. If you say it’s not time to turn the page, it’s not time to turn the page. I will look for what I have not yet seen. I will find beauty in the unfolding. I will cherish your hand upon my life. And I will wait. I will wait for the day when you say, “Okay. Now.”
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5 NIV