The common cry of my soul...The silent howl that has often come from the deepest parts of me… “Why? Why, God, do you always wait to tell me things until the last minute?” Regardless, of what it is… God always seems to wait to tell me anything until just the right time. Saying it that way seems silly. Why would I complain about God telling me something at the right time?
Every single time I have ever spoken to a crowd, I would lie awake at night… begging God to speak to me about what to share. Silence would meet me there. These times become more about communion then conversation. Just being in His presence. The next day I would read and read the Word, hoping for something to jump out at me that He would want me to share. Nothing. I don’t want to get up in front of people without being prepared. It strips me to the core and I sit there, waiting to speak, soul bare, desperate for God to tell me what to say. Minutes counting down… and then, at the very last moment; at the right time, He tells me what to say. And it is always something I would be tempted to edit if had the time to do so. As though I could improve on what He wants to say. At least, if I had time, I could edit the parts that involve me… the raw areas He wants to expose… the cracks that need healing that can only come from the salt of the body. I might be able to mask my areas of pain and make it seem softer, not quite as ugly. Perhaps my shortcomings and my sin would not seem so ugly, if I could somehow take the time to expound on why I do what I do… explain it away.
I only use that as an example; this is a cry that has come from every part of my life… a cry I have been aiming at the Lord for a long time about every single thing I have ever needed to know from Him. The answer came when I least expected it…
Having arrived at the airport early for my flight, I found my way to my gate in terminal A and sat there for a moment before I felt the urge to go exploring. Surely there is something healthy I can eat before flying… I found a map and there it was! Red Mango?! It was pretty far away, all the way on the other end of the terminal but I decided to make a dash for it. I speed walked through the multitudes of people, ridiculously excited to have a chance at a completely healthy snack. I was praising Jesus the whole way there, already knowing how tasty this was going to be!
My fruit and yoghurt parfait was soooo good… I was grinning the entire whole way back to my gate. The place was deserted. My heart starts to pound and I heard someone call in my direction: “Gate change!!! D6.” D?!?! That is the other side of the airport! I took off in the direction of airport transit and found my new gate, looked at my phone… still early. Whew. I sat down at my new gate, breathing a sigh of relief. And God said, “Good thing you didn’t know about your gate change ahead of time, huh?” My first response (heart still pounding) was, Of course, I would have liked to know ahead of time! I hate last minute changes! He countered with, “Would you have taken time for Red Mango?” Oh. Nope. He got me. I would have rushed off to my new terminal where all I could find was a McDonalds and a candy store. The rest of the day, I was looking back at the times when I yelled at God for not telling me stuff ahead of time… and uncovered many, many Red Mango moments. Some of the times when I have experienced the greatest blessings and deepest communion with God were the very times I would have been stressing out, had I known what was just around the corner. I decided I would have rather had my Red Mango then to know about my gate change. It seemed too easy, so I tried to remember a time when He told something too late… and for the life of me, I cannot remember a single time that He waited too long to tell me anything… So I am going to stop yelling and enjoy the yoghurt.