Many of us have times when we want to know God’s plan, but He isn’t revealing it. We wrestle in prayer and in the silence of God. We anguish over an answer not yet given. This can feel discouraging, especially when we know He has the ability to reveal His will to us. We know He could give us a vision or a dream, speak to us through a friend, or cause a message from Scripture to burn in our hearts so brightly we couldn’t deny His desire.
But we must remember that in the silence of God, He is concerned not just with the answer we seek, but with our transformation. He wants us to be fully ready to receive His truth. Therefore, His revelations are perfectly timed.
In John 16:12, Jesus told His disciples this very thing when He said, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from me what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine.”
Clearly, Jesus wanted to reveal His secrets to His disciples. He wanted to bless them with the knowledge He had received from His Father. But He needed to reveal it to them at the appropriate time when they were ready to receive His words.
Ellicott’s English Commentary says,
“On His [Jesus’] side there is readiness to impart to them as friends all that He heard from the Father. But revelation can only be made to the mind which can accept it; and for those who have only in part understood what He has told them, there are many, many things which cannot now be borne.”
This is a great encouragement to us as we wait on God to reveal His will. In His great love, He reveals His truth at the perfect time when we are ready to receive it.
This is how it was when I had to wait 44 years for Him to reveal His plan for me regarding marriage. You see, I knew the kind of man I wanted to marry, and it wasn’t a man with children. Being a part of a blended family was not what I was going to do for various reasons.
But the years rolled by; all my romantic relationships fell flat, and some of them were just plain messy. During this time, without knowing it, God was preparing my heart for a good man.
Enter my husband.
My husband is a wonderful, principled guy. He is funny, and has awesome integrity and character. And best of all, he loves God; he is my friend, and is kind. Most likely, because of everything I had gone through in relationships, I recognized many of these fantastic qualities right away and I immediately liked him. But there was one problem: He has five grown children—and I was not going to do the blended family thing, remember?
Time passed and I grappled with becoming a part of this new family. The thought of it felt like grief. I knew I wouldn’t be having kids, and I didn’t want to feel like I didn’t belong.
I decided to seek counsel for direction so I visited a Christian counselor near my home in Atlanta. During the session, we talked about dashed dreams and the power of gratitude over grief.
On the way home, I talked to the Lord without sweetening my emotions. “God, I just feel cheated. I wanted to have my own family.”
Then, out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit whispered clearly into my heart, The only reason you feel cheated is because you do not understand my plan.
That was all I needed to hear. I knew God was calling me to be a part of something redemptive. I would have a place in my new family, filling a unique role no one else could fill.
The Lord had revealed His will at just the right time. I would not have been ready to receive this word from Him when I was twenty-one or thirty or forty. I was only ready at forty-four when I was on my way home from the counselor’s office. I was only ready after years of wrestling and struggling and tears had tenderized my heart for a surprising move of God that I would have never chosen for myself.
Let these words encourage you: God knows what He is doing. He knows what you need to know and when you need to know it. He hears your desire to know His plan and He is preparing you to receive His plan. In the meantime, trust in His love.
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” (John 16:12)