Easter Devotion: Day 7

John 7:6-8
“Jesus came back at them, “Don’t crowd me. This isn’t my time. It’s your time–it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose. The world has nothing against you, but it’s up in arms against me. It’s against me because I expose the evil behind its pretensions. You go ahead, go up to the Feast. Don’t wait for me. I’m not ready. It’s not the right time for me.”

God loves to make us wait. Many do not realize this, but Jesus was 33 years old when he died on the cross. Until he was 30, although fully aware of his purpose, he waited. He was merely a man from Nazareth, the son of Mary and Joseph, a brother to his siblings, and a plain ol’ carpenter like his father.

Maybe you’re like me and think, what a waste! The Son of God was on the planet for 33 years, but was only allowed to reveal himself for the final three? Think of all the people he could have ministered to if he was at work from the time he learned to walk!

In this example, however, we find a truth. God cares more about the development of YOU than he does about how much work you do for Him. He will allow you to be hidden for years because He wants YOUR heart; not your actions. He wants you to know Him in the quiet; not as you stand before crowds. He will allow you to experience unlikely places and difficult circumstances that develop the character you need in life.

I knew from my teenage years that God wanted to use my music for Him. It was confirmed during a weird circumstance, on an unexpected day, when I was 16.

A pastor I had never met, in the presence of my parents, told things that God had showed him about me. This man, who knew absolutely nothing about me, began to tell us stories that God had showed him of me when I was younger. These were true things no one could ever have known. Through this very unusual experience, we knew that God was trying to reach out to me.

He ended the time by saying, “God has made you a poet song-writer. He wants to use your music to bring people to Him. He will place you to perform before large crowds, and many will find God through your voice.”

In my parents’ and my young mind, it was decided. They bought me a special gold music note necklace as a reminder of my purpose, and I began to prepare myself so God’s plans could come true. I spent four intense years studying for my B.A. in Music.

What happened? After years, I decided that man was plain nuts. There was no sign of God using my music or placing me before crowds. I stopped wearing the necklace. I allowed that God-given dream of music die, and decades passed.

At the age of 36 (2.5 years ago), those words that were spoken to my 16-year-old self-came true. I am now a worship leader at Focus Church. I sometimes find myself singing before large crowds. Quite often, after our church services, I have people approach me, with tear-filled eyes, to say they sensed God through my voice.

There is nothing special about me or my musical talent. That was proven on the stages of my Music Conservatory years ago. I had to wait a long, long time. But, I was never alone. God walked with me through the ups and downs of life so that He could finally have my complete heart and trust. No moment was wasted.

So hold on! Perhaps you are about to give up on a God-sized dream that is just taking too long! Stay faithful where you are. Learn as much as you can. Find a way to make God the love of your life. Trust Him.

If Jesus was only given three years to walk out a long-awaited plan to save all the humanity, you have plenty of time.

“We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” – Romans 5:3-5

Listen to this song and remind yourself, that even in the waiting and hidden moments of life, you eventually will look back and one thing will be undeniable: God was faithful until the end.

 

I dedicate this series of devotional writings to my grandfather, Roger Crowell, who passed away on March 31. He was the ultimate lover of devotional books. He had an unbreakable habit of waking up every morning and connecting with God through the writings of others.

Pa, I am glad you are now constantly in His presence.
Love, Your granddaughter – Olivia Puccini