I was reminded yesterday of how much I hate suspense. A friend called to find out my plans for the weekend because she was thinking of discussing ‘something’ with me on Saturday. “Why Saturday? Why can’t you just tell me now?” “Doyin I know you hate suspense but you just have to wait until Saturday” was her reply to me and that is where the conversation ended.
For almost 30 minutes afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about what exactly it was that she wanted to speak to me about. Was she in financial trouble? Or maybe it is family related? Does she have a terminal disease? Yes…I thought that far. As thoughts went on and on in my head, I was reminded of how I cannot avoid being put in suspense, especially in my role as a child of God.
I cannot count how many times God has put me in suspense. In fact, that is His specialty. He doesn’t give you the full picture. He shows you and tells you things in stages. Even when He does give you the full picture, you are usually kept in suspense regarding how you will make that picture a reality.
Looking back, I believe being put in suspense has been one of the hardest things to deal with in my relationship with God. I hated it. Right now I am still getting used to it. Back then, I couldn’t understand why God could not just provide things at the point when I needed them the most. Why couldn’t He have provided the full school fees for my final year in uni? Why did I have to be a regular face at the student debt office? I was so ashamed. I had to go there weekly to beg for extensions. This happened for months until somehow the fees were paid in full. The same thing happened again when I was in Law School. I even had to come back to Nigeria because my visa needed to be renewed and I didn’t have the required funds in my account. I eventually went back to UK to finish Law School but that was after my visa had been denied and I had to apply again. I’m sure God could have achieved that result taking a different and easier route but He didn’t. He chose to keep me in suspense and now, I know why.
Suspense, when it comes to walking with God, is not a bad thing but you can only benefit from it when you exercise patience. God took me through that long route to get me to learn how to trust in Him. I went through the same affliction twice because I had not yet learnt the lesson of total dependence on God. I still looked at my parents as the way out. God also took me through that route because He wanted me to break that habit of worrying and become stronger spiritually. He wanted me to grow my faith. Back then, I was a chronic worrier. I worried about the slightest things; things that I should have just surrendered to God. At the end of the day, the suspense regarding how things would turn out always ended well. I just needed to be patient.
When God is taking you on a journey that does not seem to make sense or when it seems like He is not answering your prayers, exercise some patience. The thing about suspense is that it makes you agitated and when you get agitated, it is easy to decide to look for another way out. After all, God is being silent. But when you exercise patience, you adopt the attitude of ‘God or nothing’. You will be able to say confidently that “I know my Redeemer lives” and as long as He lives everything will work together for your good. Don’t try to figure out things by yourself. Don’t kill yourself with anxiety, worrying how that bill will be paid. Just leave it to God. Exercise your faith. God knew about the bill before it came and He has already made provision for it. So what are you worried about? Here I am today; I graduated from Uni and Law School with good grades despite the financial challenges I faced. God provided. And even though it looked like God didn’t provide for my Masters degree, I now know that He had an assignment for me in Nigeria. I know that there are lessons He wanted me to learn.
Having a relationship with God is sweet but you have to be willing to trust Him completely. Many things will not make sense. Sometimes it will look like you are alone and God is not saying anything. The truth really is that God is always there. Just hold on to His word and have faith in Him. The wait, the suspense, the journey through the wilderness will all be worth it.