My oldest son is obsessed with baseball. He knows all the stats, he follows all the teams, he could tell you who plays what position and how fast the PO’s throw. We have found baseball is a great source of motivation because the threat of not getting to play will drive him to do that last chore or page of homework when he has no desire left for the mundane.
This kid has also grown what seems like 12 inches and hundreds of pounds over the last year (ok, that is an exaggeration, but any boy moms out there understand what this feels like in the teen years. Seriously though, how do they get so big so fast?) He is a catcher. He’s loved that position since little league, and has been committed to being the best he can be, and with that comes expensive gear that needs to grow with him. His last gear is several years old and let’s be honest, doesn’t cut it when he’s catching kids who can throw in the high 80’s-90’s. New gear was worth the investment. So he set out to work odd jobs and throw that hard earned cash in a “gear jar.” The set he had his eye was around $500. This is was no drop in the bucket for him, or for his folks. Mowing, raking, mulching, and moving consumed his free time. He is also an avid fisherman, so the temptation to by tackle was almost to much to bear, but he powered through, because the need for gear trumped anything else.
August rolls around and he finally has enough. We go to the bank to open the checking account. All his work tucked in an envelope, he hands over to the bank. It was in there long enough to get online and type that new debit card number in. The fruit of his labor was on it’s way, and it had a tracking number.
He copy and pasted that number and refreshed it multiple times a day. It was due to arrive on a Saturday, and he made sure that someone was going to be home, because he wasn’t about to let that big box get stolen. It was his, and he wasn’t going to stop watching and waiting until he was suited up in that new gear.
Saturday rolls around and the location seemed to be stalled. How in the world was it going to end up on our porch when it hadn’t seemed to move in the last 3 days? Then the notification came.
“We are sorry, there has been a delay with your order.”
I felt for him, knowing how frustrating it is when something you have worked hard for and so excited for gets delayed. It is even more frustrating when it’s progression is out of your hands completely, and the momentum seems to have come to a screeching halt. The package was due the next day, and it didn’t show. He vented, “I did my part! They have my money, and now they have my gear. What if someone else has it? That’s not right! That was meant for me! Why is it taking so long?“
We dug through customer service and find the product and shipping guarantees. We call the one we entrusted all those dollars with, the manufacturer. The manufacturer’s words gave us hope. Even though it was delayed, he was going to have his gear. It just wasn’t when he expected. They ensured us if this tracking number never produced the gear, there would be a replacement. What was promised to him would show up, it may just require a new means of delivery.
After speaking with them, they had our trust, even when we didn’t have the box in front of us. Manufacturers who will back up their promises, even if it means loss on their end, are worthy of waiting on. It gives those waiting confidence.
Maybe you are finding yourself knocking down the door of prayer day in and day out, waiting for that fruit of your labor. You’ve put in the work, you’ve counted the costs, and you are so weary of the wait.
Maybe you saw your promise around the bend, and now it feels like someone else got that thing you paid for. The thought of all those unseen sacrifices and suffering you have endured were going to be rewarded, and now it seems as if your neighbor, a person at work, your spouse, your best friend, or even your enemies are getting the package you have been tracking for months. You don’t even want to call the manufacturer, it’s too painful. How can you trust someone who doesn’t show up when you thought they would?
1 John 5:14 says that we have this confidence, that our God, our incredible creator and manufacturer when we come to him, HEARS US. His word describes how He created us, fully understanding how we would fall short of His love and glory time and time again, yet He already had a guarantee in place, Jesus. You can’t ask for a better hope than knowing the one who made you, had a guarantee for your future in place before you even breathed air.
A shift happens when we really know the one who made us, also hears us, and backs his promises up with His son and His word. Life can bring far deeper disappointments than delayed packages. We can know in our heads that God won’t waste our suffering, but our hearts will keep hitting refresh, hoping that we can see the end to the hurt, and somehow these delays in our joy will show up when the path we are on is not moving. What if God is waiting on us to come to directly to him, instead of watching the old tracking number sit stagnant? What if our manufacturer is ready to do something NEW and send it on a totally different route than the way we have been trying most of our days? Oh how this changes things for you and I! His plan for us has never changed, he just wants our focus to get off the things that are no longer working and back on the phone with one who can and will set things in motion again!
“You can’t ask for a better hope than knowing the one who made you, had a guarantee for your future in place before you even breathed air.”
He puts his money where his mouth is. He was willing to take the greatest loss to make sure we have the promise of hope when things don’t go the way we had hoped. He is good on His word. A creator who would risk so greatly to make sure we not only get heard, but we get the reward too. And unlike my son’s lost gear, that he paid the price for, as believers we get this amazing gift of life, compliments of the manufacturer He doesn’t owe us anything, yet he sends us good gifts and allows us to bear fruit through our faith. We find ourselves in seasons filled with gratitude and willingness to trust him, until something totally out of our control seemingly halts our momentum.
Oh how I understand the wait. I am familiar with avoiding the one who has the ultimate say, because I don’t trust his guarantee. But somehow you and I are called “Blessed.” Even in our waiting. Even in our fear that the promise and the fruit may not be coming, when we go to the one who can change the trajectory of our lives.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised those who love him. ” James 1:12 NIV
That catchers gear took almost another two weeks. It grew harder to wait, but despair didn’t win because he trusted the manufacturer. Watching this unfold raked up some dry soil in my own soul that I had given up on, and if I am honest, was avoiding contacting my manufacturer on. I am thankful that when the dry seasons seem to not yield any fruit, that it doesn’t mean something isn’t happening underground we can’t see yet.
We keep tracking. We keep checking in with the manufacturer, longing for it’s arrival. We keep praying and asking for fruit. We keep looking for it. We trust the manufacturer while waiting, not wondering IF the promise of fruit will show up, but WHEN it will. We can trust the the God of the Old Testament who says that when we seek him with all our hearts, and soul- we will find him (Deuteronomy 4:29) and the God of the New Testament that promises us when we humble ourselves under God’s mighty power, at the right time, he will lift you up.
Soon, that promise will show up on the doorstep of your life. He didn’t give your promise to someone else. It’s not lost. It isn’t over. It is coming. Rejoice knowing that your waiting is producing something only a creator who would risk it all on your behalf, knows exactly when and where your fruit will breakthrough.
Keep investing your faith, keep pushing through the mundane, and the doing the hard things. Don’t grow weary friend, in doing good. Just like my son who longed for that gear to show up, we can not forfeit all that God has done in us, and around us just because the thing we longed for hasn’t happened yet. In due time, Galatians 6:9 says that a harvest will come. It would have been heartbreaking for me to see my son give up when that package didn’t show that Saturday, or even when it still wasn’t there weeks later.
In my waiting I am missing out on another chance to produce fruit, when trusting our Father knows and sees what is happening behind the scenes. His promise and guarantee isn’t thwarted by those who are against us, or the curve balls life is throwing in our routes. Rejoice when those around you receive blessings, knowing that the plan He has for you cannot be stolen or given away. Our God is a manufacturer of infinite resources. He just keeps giving.
Keep calling on your manufacturer, looking to him for the updated tracking on your healing, your plans, and your calling. There is fruit growing now, even in your waiting.