Not having the answers

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A friend of mine recently went to a much-anticipated job interview. The job seemed to be tailor-made for her. She would be able to speak her native language, she had the required qualifications and it was just 15 minutes’ walk from home. When we caught up for dinner that evening, she was still bubbling over with excitement!

As far as she knew, the interview had gone well. The interviewer had been impressed with my friend’s experience but had let her know that this was just the start of the process. If successful, my friend would go through the next round of interviews, this time with a panel of four or five people.

At dinner, my friend jumped every time the phone rang or when she heard the “ping” of a text message. As the hours passed, she looked more and more despondent and wondered out loud why she hadn’t been contacted yet.

I was surprised. Expecting a call only hours after the initial job interview seemed a bit too optimistic!

My friend then explained she had never had to wait for a potential employer to contact her before. Her first job had been a volunteer position that required no waiting list. Subsequent jobs had been offered to her almost immediately—her employers had either needed someone desperately or decided straight away that she was the right candidate. Waiting was something new for her.

We saw each other again later that week and by now her impatience was palpable. Why hadn’t the employer called her yet? Why couldn’t God tell her right now whether or not this was the job for her?

Part of me smiled at her impatience. The other part was empathetic. After all, how often am I impatient with God? How often do I expect answers straight away or for my desires to be fulfilled immediately?

I told her to be patient. To trust that God had good plans for her and wanted the best for her, even if this job wasn’t the right fit. To rest assured that He can see the full picture when we have only the merest glimpse.

Today I find myself repeating many of the assurances I told my friend. As I write this, my mum is in intensive care and I don’t know whether she will survive. My phone is currently on 24/7 in case the hospital calls. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to sleep through an entire night. And every day I prepare myself for the worst.

Not having the answers is difficult. I like to know how things will pan out. Even as a child, I would turn to the end of a particularly dramatic book just to make sure that I would like the ending. (Yes, I’m one of those people.)

But this I do know—God is faithful. He has brought my friend and me through so much in our pasts. We need to trust Him more with our futures.

As renowned preacher Billy Graham once said, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out alright.”

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