When God Says “Not Now”


Over twenty years ago I felt the Lord give me a vision of my future. In this vision, I saw where my husband and I would be one day. It filled me with such joy and anticipation. I wrote it in my journal, and even through the decade my husband and I spent apart, before we got married, I still held tightly to that word from the Lord. I knew in my heart it was what God had for us.

Sometimes God gives you a vision and He says “go now!” When the Lord told me at nineteen to go overseas by myself for six months, I went. Over twenty years later, when He told my husband and me to leave our home, sell our things, and travel together, we went! But other times God says, “not now.” Instead, He says, “wait.” Underneath His command of not yet is the theme of Be Still. Man, that’s hard. Once you know God has something for you, it’s hard to be still and wait for His timing.

It’s even harder when, like us, your heart desires more than anything to be a fisher of men and spread God’s love. In that case, you don’t even want to hit a 9-5. You want nothing but that Ministry. Wherever it may be. Whatever it entails. I think the hardest ministry calling is one you don’t yet know the details and cannot yet walk out. You know it’s ahead, but you can’t quite see the specifics, just a fuzzy outline. You just trust for the rest.

This morning during my quiet time the Lord reminded me and solidified within me that we were on the right path, that we were walking in His will, and that He was leading us to the next season. At that moment my youngest daughter walked sleepily out of the bedroom. As she rubbed her eyes she grinned a sweet smile my way. At that moment I felt the Lord impress this upon my heart.

“You are walking in your ministry calling right now.”

As I looked on at my precious girl I understood the things I already knew, but also needed reminding of.

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Each day as a mother I worked for the Lord. I led them to Jesus and trained them up in the way they should go. Just the other day when I had gotten out of bed to go into the living room my 2-year-old had said, “don’t forget your Bible.” And the day before my 5-year-old’s first response to a problem had been to pray about it. These were small things, but they meant a lot to me. They showed me that I was doing something right if I could instill in them a love for Jesus.

Each day as a nurse I was working for the Lord. I made a point to ask Him each morning to go before me and set up the assignment I would have for the day. I opened my mind to His voice in caring for my patients, and I prayed for and with my patients after asking them. My last day at work a supervisor had witnessed me praying and holding hands with a family. The supervisor had later hugged me, told me how much I was appreciated and hinted to me about staying on at the hospital long term. The patient’s wife had cried tears of joy, told me how I shined a light of the Lord and prayed for God to continue to use me in patient care.

Each day as a wife I worked for the Lord. I supported my husband in God’s call for His life, and I prayed for him without ceasing.

Waiting for a vision from the Lord can be difficult, but this morning I was reminded that we can be walking in a part of God’s ministry calling for our life without even realizing it. While He might have something in the future that more readily met the standard, expected definition of ministry, that didn’t mean we weren’t in ministry now. Every interaction we had with a stranger, every kind word we spoke, tithe we gave, lesson we taught our children, or prayer of intercession for another we prayed was an important part of the life ministry God had for us. It all mattered, and that was an eye-opening, humbling thought of the part my everyday mundane played in God’s kingdom.

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.