Red peaks arranged in an arc with blue and orange speckles fill the page, almost resembling the back of a stegosaurus. Turning to the next page, you realize that’s no dinosaur, but the comb part of a rooster you were viewing on the previous page. Each page of the book, Zoom, reveals a broader perspective than the previous page. The camera gradually takes a step back with each turn of the page until ultimately ending with a black page with a white dot (outer space and earth from a great distance away).
Imagine we’re in a room together and each of you holds a single page from this book. One by one you make your way around the room trying to describe your page to see if it holds any connection to another. Alone, your page makes little sense and doesn’t reveal much about a cohesive story. It’s hard to describe your page without knowing the broader context of what you’re looking at or where this picture-story is leading. As I instruct you to begin showing your picture to others, suddenly the story starts to make sense, connections are made and a sequence of pictures begins to reveal the intent of the author.
Perspective. How often do we hold a single page of our life story and struggle to find any meaning in a broader context? Why does my career path look like a patchwork quilt instead of a carefully planned pyramid to the top? Why is singleness dotting every page of my book thus far? On page 8, what was I thinking with those glasses and that hairstyle? Questions fill my mind as I reflect on individual moments throughout my life.
A friend recently asked me if I truly believe that God gives good gifts and wants what is best for us. We discussed verses like Matthew 7:9, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Or John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” And then she launched the test question, “Can you really believe that God cares about your desires after you’ve wanted and prayed for marriage for so many years?” This wasn’t an insensitive question, but a longing to know how to reconcile unmet desire with the goodness of a loving God.
If we’re honest… married/single, childless/child-full, healthy/sick, fulfilled/longing, employed/unemployed, shackled/free… this is the question of anyone living in a fallen world who places their hope in God. Is God concerned with our desires? If you listened to the talk that Connally gave at Regent College (posted on here a few weeks ago), she pointed out that God sees us. So if God sees us and knows our longings, how long can we believe He is good and gives good gifts in the face of unmet desires? Sarah was 90 years old when she conceived and gave birth to Isaac, was God oblivious to Sarah’s desires before this or was there something else at work in the lives of Sarah and Abraham?
Our story is still unfolding. The page you hold today is not the end of the story. God’s goodness and plan for your life is like a thread woven through the pages of your life. Today, you may feel like your desires and longings mean little to God, but remember this verse from Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” There is a grand story being told about a Father that created a world, and filled it with humans made in His image, and then hatched a crazy, love-driven plan to rescue them from harm. Your individual story fits into the larger story of redemption. Wait for God’s timing, hold onto hope, because your story isn’t over yet!
Join us this Monday in fasting for our unmet desires to lead us to the feet of Jesus in prayer. May God hear the cries of His people and continue His work in their lives. Habakkuk 2:2-3