I’ve had a “When in Paris” list for years.
I already know everywhere I plan to go when I step off the plane in France. I’ll see the classic Parisian sights (la Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame de Paris, le Louvre). I’ll be happy to spend time in leisure, doing the things that feel très Français for an American tourist: walking hand-in-hand with my love as we stroll along the Champs-Élysées, getting lost in journal writing and a café au lait while sitting at a grand Parisian street café to watch the city walk by. I’ve purchased countless books, studied city maps, even brushed up on my French. I’d say my bags are packed and I’m ready to go… right?
So why, with my love of Paris, am I not presently boarding a plane? Because it’s not the right time. Whether it’s due to commitments for our children or responsibilities with our daily routines, picking up and crossing the Atlantic is just not that easy to do (or fund) on a whim. You can plan for it, save and be really intentional about making your goal a reality (which I plan to do), but that doesn’t change the fact that patience is part of the equation. We may have to step back from the glitz and glamour of our dreams and say: Wait for me.
We can hope and dream and work diligently towards a goal – for that we may feel proud. But to work diligently and have to wait despite our earnest efforts? That is oftentimes a deeper test of faith. We’re working while we’re waiting for our dream to come true and until we cross that finish-line, we think we cannot be satisfied.
Where do you exercise patience? Are you too, waiting on God’s perfect timing? Perhaps you’re:
… waiting in an unemployment line.
… waiting for healing, forgiveness, or a long overdue “I’m sorry”.
… waiting for a loved one to have a change of heart.
… waiting for guidance on a life-altering decision.
… waiting, waiting, and more waiting.
My home is in heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.
– Billy Graham
What if our only thought of heaven was: Wait for me? There’s so much more, isn’t there? It gives a perspective on the promise of heaven and working while we’re waiting to get there. It would seem ludicrous if Billy Graham had decided not to work here on earth because he was simply waiting for the dream of the next life. The destination is just part of the story; it’s patience in the journey that truly matters. Every step. Every breath. Every moment spent walking with Jesus until we fall into His arms one day – they build character. They provide opportunities to grow. And serve. And show His love to others. Heaven is the dream, but the journey is where we find the real reward.
I may think about Paris. (Let’s be honest – I frequently do.) I may dream about it and want more than anything to go there, but I also know that all things come in the right time. I trust God that whether it’s about something as small as wanting a trip to Paris or in the defining moments we fear our faith may be shaken, God is here to listen to our every word. He’s our safe place. Our partner on the journey.
I love that we can trust Him with our dreams. I love that while we’re waiting and working towards them, He will guide our path. May we have patience as we say to heaven (and Paris)… Wait for me. I’ve got more work to do before I get there.