Coffee

It’s the one drink that I HAVE to have in the morning. Brewed. With caramel macchiato creamer… latte… and in the summer time, cold brew.

With the hot coffee, other than a few minutes, I can start drinking it almost right away. But with cold brew, I have to wait. You see, with cold brew, it takes approximately 24 hours to make. From the time I put the grounds in the cold-brew pitcher, to serving time, is 24 hours.

This last batch, Morgan wanted some. So when she asked if she could go get it from the fridge , I said, “Not yet.” It wasn’t ready. It still had time to brew left.

Life can be like that too.

“Not yet,” God says.

You had life all planned out. Your dreams all dreamt up. Maybe from the time you were a little kid…

The type of job you’d have. The type of guy or girl you’d marry. The amount of money you’d make. The family you’d start.

Dreams. Plans. Ambitions. Goals. And… then… God says,

“Not yet.”

Our dreams. Our plans. Our prayers. They’re often what we live our lives by. But too many times, what we are living… our current reality… is far from what we’d wish it were.

“Not yet.”

These aren’t words that I wanted to hear as a kid. And still, as an adult, these are not the words that I want to hear from the lips of God either. Our goals. Our plans. Our dreams. Our desires. We want them now… because we really believe that we are ready for them now.

To become the leader. To start that business. To build that ministry or career. To get married and/or to start a family. We want all of these things so badly… right now. And in the quiet, even dark-like moments God says, “Not yet.”

And you’re left wondering… “Why?” “Why God?”

There was another guy who I’m sure felt the same way. Joseph, in Genesis chapter 37, he had a couple of dreams… dreams from God. And he told his brothers,

Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine. Genesis 37:5-7

And like any great brothers would do, they said, “So you’re going to boss us around!?” And the Bible tells us that they hated him more than ever because of his dreams. Not taking the hint, Joseph told them another dream. This one he said that he dreamt that the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to him. His brothers became more jealous and after he told his father, his father reprimanded him.

These dreams that Joseph had… to be a leader of a great nation. A dream from God. What did God say?

“Not yet Joseph.”

Joseph’s dream was put on hold. He had to wait. Not only did he have to wait, he had to do it in a cistern first after his brothers threw him in there. Then he had to do it from a jail cell. Year after year after year after year Joseph had to wait.

“Not yet”

From 17 to 30. Joseph had to wait. God had a different road for Joseph to travel. It wasn’t a road that Joseph planned on taking. It wasn’t one that he ever prepared for. Joseph could have lost hope. That would have been the easier option. But Joseph didn’t lose hope. Instead, he persevered and served God. And when he was able to face his brothers, the very people who sold him into slavery, he said,

“So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt.”

Even though God said, “Not yet,” Joseph still held on to the hope that God offers. God’s “Not yet” aren’t meant to crush our dreams… our hopes… no, His “Not yet” allows us time to grow more before we have what it takes to fulfill them.

God’s “Not yet” isn’t there to discourage us from our hopes and dreams. It’s there to make us depend on God and develop our faith in times of unknown and struggle.

Joseph came out stronger, more humble and with greater faith because of God’s “Not yet.” He was tested and tried before his dreams were fulfilled. And God does the exact same for you… for me.

It’s never easy when God tells us, “Not yet.” But that doesn’t mean that we should lose faith… that we should lose hope. Instead, we can do the three things that Joseph did…

Continue to Wait on God and His timing. (Psalm 27:14)

Continue to Trust God and that His timing is better than ours. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

And Stay on the right path that God has for your life. (Psalm 17:6)

Just like the cold brew I make, if we take it out before it’s ready, it isn’t as good as it could be if I would have simply waited the appropriate time. God’s plan for our lives is the same. He says, “Not yet,” because He wants us to be fully ready for the blessings He has in store for us.

Don’t mistake God’s patience for His absence. His timing is perfect, and His presence is constant. He’s always with you. Deuteronomy 31:6