by Toby Manolis
Are you feeling stuck? Trapped? Do you know without a doubt that God has gifted you, equipped you, and called you into service, YET at the same time has you in a situation where you feel like that very gifting is wasted? Do you feel like your energy is being wasted on things that don’t matter? Does this cause you to want to shake your fist towards heaven?
I’ll stop asking questions. That might be a few, some, or many of us. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be doing what you were born to do. Life on this side of things isn’t easy, as we all know. For those of us who long do our Father’s business, who long to spend time sewing seeds for the Kingdom and move in our gifts, whatever that looks like, life is even harder. However, there’s hope. There’s hope because of God. God knows. God sees. God hears. While we can’t explain our circumstances, and while God is sometimes inexplicably silent when we ask Him “Why?”, we know that our duty is to trust Him, and wait.
Waiting is one of the most important themes in Scripture, almost annoyingly so. If we look at the great gallery of righteous forefathers, all of them had to wait at some point. Abraham and Sarah waited years for Isaac. Jacob waited years for Rachel. Joseph waited years unlawfully jailed before fulfilling his destiny. Moses waited years in the wilderness. David waited years on the run and in exile while his home was under the authority of a jealous and prideful king. Even Yeshua had to wait for his time to come.
Waiting for destiny, or should I say, waiting for God, is not for the faint of heart. The crazy thing about it is, God, One who can be relied on as a rock, fortress, and a very present and sure help, is also incredibly unpredictable. He descends in fire on some occasions, and is a still small voice on another. He has appeared as a man, a cyclone, a cloud, a pillar of fire, a burning bush, etc. The point? I don’t know. God has His ways, and they are unknowable. However, not everything concerning God and His plans for us is shrouded in mystery. Although we can never understand God’s method, we are repeatedly made aware of His motive: He loves us.
What are you waiting for? That’s not a rhetorical question telling you to stop waiting. If you are reading this blog, what are you waiting for? No matter how hard we try, we must admit that we do have our own ideas as to how God should launch us into our destiny. It’s normal. It’s human. Part of being human, is our hope’s creation of expectation. We expect, then in our hope, we start to imagine.
God, however, often works through what I call “divine collision".
A rabbi once spoke to me about how he began his life in ministry and ultimately gave me a short teaching on calling. He said that as we move through life, God is with us, moving parallel (imagine two parallel lines). Throughout this time, God speaks to us and intervenes in our lives as a loving Father blesses his children. This is the day-to-day intimacy we enjoy with God. Then there are other times. These are more fierce, potent, and powerful experiences when God, without warning (to us), decides to suddenly and directly engage us. God decides to take a sharp turn. God decides to change us. The two lines that were previously parallel now intersect, and there’s a point of contact, a collision. Due to the fact that we are human, and God is God, the contact for us is earth-shattering, spiritually violent. From that point onward, for us, things are never the same.
I’ve had them in my life. I want more. I’m waiting for more. Though, they always come when I least expect them and almost never how I think they will. Let’s look at some examples of some divine collisions in Scripture:
-Jacob was sitting by himself, afraid of the impending meeting with his brother Esau, when a Man suddenly showed up to wrestle with him.
-For Moses, who had been in the wilderness 40 years in exile as a shepherd, it was just another day in the sheep fields when he happened upon a bush consumed by fire.
-For Gideon, he was in a wine-press threshing wheat to hide it from Midian, when he came out and encountered a Man sitting under a tree.
-It was a normal day for David, who was shepherding sheep when he was called home to be anointed by Samuel.
-David was running an otherwise unassuming errand for his dad and when he encountered a giant taunting God’s people on a battlefield.
-Matthew was at work when Someone said to him “Follow Me.”
-Peter was at work when that same Man called on him.
-Paul was on his own mission when he had his collision.
There are many more instances. So many more. The point? Of the ones I mentioned, none of them were looking for their destiny. None of them were expecting God to make a sharp turn, intersect with them, and change their lives forever. They were at work. They were going about their business. They were in moments of fear. None of them were on a deliberate “hero’s journey”.
Life isn’t easy. Life is monotonous. It can chip away at you. It can assault you. The mundane repetition of it alone can drive you crazy, especially if you are a child of God. Yet, we go through it day after day, feeling like we were made for so much more, knowing we were made for so much more. But don’t give up now. Keep waiting nonetheless. Most importantly, never, EVER, underestimate what can seem to be just “another day”. You might be at work, on the way to the store, taking a walk, sleeping, or watching Netflix.
Then it happens. God decides now is the time for a sharp turn. The intersection. The collision.
Toby Manolis is the Media Director at Meuchad. He has worn a variety of hats since being called to the Messianic Movement in 2005 including bass player, videographer, school teacher, worship leader, cantor, husband, youth leader, and dad. He’s a proud 90s kid with a growing collection of desk toys in his office.