Last week, I heard Kelly Rosati, vice president of community outreach at Focus on the Family, share the dramatic story of how the Lord led her and her husband to adopt four children. Each adoption was a difficult transition from resistance to struggle to love and a sense of belonging. I walked away from her story wondering if the Lord wants me to adopt someday. But more than that, one repetitive piece of her story that stuck with me was the way she and her husband, each time the Lord laid adoption on their hearts, “got ready.”
She didn’t mean they found an adoption agency who guaranteed them a particular child, after which they prepared to bring that child home. It sounds like her experience was much the opposite. “Getting ready” meant ordering their personal finances, filling out a lot of paperwork, going through invasive background checks and home evaluations, and other such menial and unpleasant tasks — all while they had no guarantee from an agency of when or even if they could bring a child home. They had no image of the child in their minds to motivate them through the grunt work. All they had was a nudge from the Holy Spirit telling them that adoption was in their future.
I’m not trying to teach you spiritual discernment or how to recognize the Spirit’s nudges; I can’t say that I’m very skilled at that myself. In fact, I think that most of the time, God does not give us a clear indication of the direction He plans to take our lives. Instead, I want to encourage you not to be afraid of preparing for a future you cannot see.
I have certainly been intimidated by an unknown future. Back in November, I was going through a rough patch, and I remember feeling like I had no reason or purpose to face the day. I remember sitting on my couch, all ready to go to work, and asking God why I had to walk out the door. I couldn’t picture the good in my future. I couldn’t imagine what I was working toward. The only thing that got me out the door was Psalm 27:13-14: “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” I didn’t feel like believing that. But my God said it. So out the door I went.
I hope your everyday outlook is not as bleak as mine was that day. Yet we are often in a position where we have to walk toward the unknown. The good news is that we know two things. First, we know the God who knows our future. We know He will always be with us, and He will always provide for us. We know He will equip us to do anything He calls us to do. These are not spiritual platitudes; they are truths on which to stake our lives!
Second, we know what God has already given us: talents and resources. The best way to live in faith with an unknown future, like the Rosati family, is to develop and expand those talents and resources out of a confidence that God has great plans for them. That way, when God reveals our mission, we will be able to hit the ground running.
So get ready. Your future may not seem to hold great things, but God says otherwise. When Habakkuk was intimidated by the violence and injustice around him, the Lord said, “Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5).
The same Lord is using us today. Take the Lord at his Word, and live your life as if you expect Him to come through on His promises for your future, because He absolutely will.