Vance Havner called it “The Great Not Yet.” It’s that collection of time sandwiched between our need and God’s answer. It’s the realm of the unknown. We know we have a situation, have asked God for help but don’t know what He intends to do. We have neither a yes or no, only a not yet.
I remember how worry used to work in my Mom. Between the rise of her concern and the resolution, everything imaginable would run through her mind. And for some reason most of that was worst case scenario stuff. If there was a hint of doom, even a small percentage of possibility, that doom took on a life of its own. Worriers struggle with that.
Having limited or no answers drives us to imagine what if’s. What if he’s lying in a hospital without clean underwear, what if he’s crumpled up in a ditch after a horrendous car crash, what if he’s developing some dreaded illness from being scratched by his cat…these are the kinds of things my Mom worried about. However, to her credibility I did do all of the above. But going there without evidence is merely giving into the suspicions of the smallness of God.
If God is in the beginning and the end, He surely is in the middle. If He’s in the right now, He will be in the not yet. The God who is faithful in big things is also faithful in small things. The grace that covers us for salvation also covers us for life.
Paul had to remind the Philippians not to worry but instead to pray. Prayer is our expression of faith that God is there, listening and intent on answering. Prayer does not put God on a time-table. It does not obligate Him. It tunes us into His faithfulness. It reminds us of His presence. I pray and trust. That’s the extent of my abilities to bring about change. If I think my worrying can bring change then I’ve lessened the significance of God in my life.
My Mom struggled with that. I’m trying not to.