I will never forget that morning.
I was sitting at my desk, frustrated and impatient, my sister’s hand on my shoulder.
“Jess, why don’t you do it?”
I can’t. I’m not qualified. The very thought was paralyzing.
Her eyes, looking down into my mine: “Jess, seriously. This is your project. You have the vision for it. Not someone else.” She paused, “I think you’re supposed to do it.”
I started trembling. Out of nowhere, tears streamed forth. She had pricked a nerve. I can’t paint. Not right now. I don’t have all of my art supplies. I don’t have… space. Not at my desk. Not in my heart. Besides, I hadn’t picked up a brush in years.
“Jess,” she sat down beside me. “You may never have the perfect setting. It may never be the ‘right’ time. You could spend your life waiting for all the peices to fall into place in order to pick up a brush again. And you know what?”
“You’ll spend the rest of your life waiting.”
Two hours of trying to push her words out of my mind. Then, facing the the truth. She was right. I can always make up an excuse to not be creative or push myself. ‘The timing is wrong.’ ‘My skills aren’t what I want them to be.’ ‘I haven’t practiced in… years.’ Each one a thin disguise to cover my fears: What if I’m not good enough? What if the words don’t come out right? What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not enough.
News flash: Those questions are irrelevent.
The timing will never be perfect. My skills can always be improved. I’ll never be good enough for everyone and we all know that without Christ, I’m not enough.
It was clearly time to stop waiting and start ‘doing.’ If I want to be on the other side of the lake, I have to jump in and start swimming. And only I can get myself into the water.
No one can take my first step except me. I could spend the rest of my life waiting for the ‘right’ moment to do what God has put in my heart, when all along, God is saying ‘you dive in and I’ll help you cross the lake. You’ll get to the other side at the exact right time, if you trust me to lead you.’
God’s timing is important. He sets seasons and times apart for different projects. A project released at the wrong time won’t have the impact he intends while a project released at the perfect time can change the world. But the timing doesn’t matter if there is nothing there to begin with.
Remember: God can’t move a car in ‘park.’ Stop sitting on the edge of the dock until you think the water is warm enough. It won’t ever be warm enough. Trust me. Start swimming. Start trusting him to see you through the journey.
I promise you, he will release your work in his time. But he can’t release it if there is no ‘it’ to release. Better to have something to offer him than nothing at all, right? Better to do what he made you to do than wind up in heaven, looking down awkwardly and mumbling, “But all my art supplies were in storage.”
So, on that note, in the words of Keith Green,
He is the vine
And you are the branch
He loves to get you through it if you give him a chance
You just keep doing your best
And pray that it’s blessed
And Jesus takes care of the rest…”