“What’s the matter, Samuel?” I asked.
“I think that God wants me to be a missionary,” he said. “To someplace far away. I just don’t know where He wants me to go.”
It wasn’t the first time Samuel had spoken of becoming a missionary. And he’d recently ripped though as many missionary stories as I could find. Maybe one day he would share the gospel in far-off places. Who knew?
“We’ll, there’s plenty of time for God to show you, Sam,” I said. “You’re only nine years old.”
“Sure,” he said. “But I’d still like to know.”
Then I remembered something that I’d heard the week before, from the mouth of a missionary. “Sometimes God doesn’t part the waters until we’re standing at the edge,” I shared.
Sam was puzzled. “What?”
“God promised to be with you always, and He'll prepare you for where you'll go. He'll plan, He'll speak, He'll lead , but He may not open the waters 'til your feet are at the edge.” I smiled at my little guy. “Then He'll provide and go in front of you. Like at the Jordan. But you can trust him now, Sam. All the way.”
“Okay,” Sam said. “I’d just like to know what to pack.”
Sweet, sweet Samuel. His quandary challenged my own heart. How many times do I want to know the full plan – exactly where to go, exactly what to do, how it will all work out, when the timing is simply too premature? I know that the Lord loves me. I know that He has a plan. But sometimes I get ahead of the plan and it’s just plain hard to wait.
So, as Sam paces and wonders and pokes fingers at the map on the wall, I’ll remind Him of the Lord whose timing is perfect. I’ll encourage him to wait to pack. And I’ll remind him that when and if it’s the Lord’s plan, God will give him all he needs, and His glory will be revealed.
Then the waters will part.
For Sam and for me.