But you promised!
How many of us remember making that plaintive statement to our parents as children. Lest they forget the dessert, toy, activity they “promised” we were sure to remind them. It was powerful. They had said they would do it. We had justified claim. Any good parent would try to fulfill their word.
I am a bit focused on promises today. Our family is waiting for the fulfillment of one of God’s promises. We are patiently holding him to his word. Not in the complaining, whiny way I did as a child. Just patiently waiting before him stating: “Lord you promised. You told us we were called. You assured us you would meet all our needs.” Now we are waiting for the fulfillment of his word. Because we know his word is good. There have been moments in this journey where we have been frustrated. In fact, there have been moments I have railed at God with everything in me. But, at this moment there is just peace. And anticipation.
Yesterday, a friend reminded me of one of the last times I held God to his promises. That particular promise was regarding our son Josiah Ephraim. Josiah is our “surprise” seminary baby. The one we weren’t going to have, because that was just plain irresponsible. The one God snuck through the cracks. Because God’s plans our better than our own. And we’ve been delighted in his plan ever since.
Upon praying for a name, John came back to me with the name Josiah Ephriam. I was fine with Josiah, but Ephraim? Poor kid! Until I prayed and realized the full implications of the name. Ephraim, son of Joseph. Ephraim, who was born into slavery and still richly provided for. Ephraim, who’s name means doubly fruitful. Suddenly I realized God was promising he would provide for our seminary baby. In spite of our yearly income of $25,000… In New York…
And he did! It was amazing to see. Clothes, furniture, baby gear. There was not a thing that Josiah wanted for. And then Josiah was 9 months old and suddenly decided he could wean himself. And then the stockpile of formula ran out. And then the bank account ran dry. And then the last diaper was put on and the last bottle of formula was given. And I tucked Josiah Ephraim into bed for the night and proceeded to scold God. I cried, I ranted, I raved. “You promised! You promised you would take care of him. What am I supposed to do when he wakes up?” I was angry! Finally I gave in and went to bed.
Morning came and with it a phone call from a good friend. She was sorry to call so early, but God had told her she needed to buy us something immediately. She had $50.00 to spend. What was it that we needed? I could elaborate on this further, but I think God’s faithfulness stands alone. He keeps his promises. We can hold him to them. He seems a little late at times, but He always comes through. Right when He’s accomplished a deeper work in his children.
So, I’m holding him to his promises. Trusting that his “delay” is for our own good. And that the day we get to “open” his promise is going to be so much better than Christmas morning.
It occurs to me that our temporary tests of patience here on earth are really just practice. When we learn to trust God for cans of formula, diapers, jobs, healing, etc we become more aware that He will fill his eternal promises as well. Sure, new jobs are great! But, imagine what it’s like to finally see His face.