Connecting the Dots
Written by: Saphace Asamoah
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His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.
- John 12:16
Have you ever had a moment when you were sitting in class and you didn’t know what the professor was talking about? That was me all the time in undergrad since I never read the textbook! Just kidding! Although, I won’t lie to you, there was one class in college that I didn’t buy the textbook for and I still passed the class. For those of you already judging, I was in my last year of college and I had senioritis! It’s a real illness that lasts until you graduate. You can’t think or sleep and you’re tired of school.
Anyway, sometimes we do have moments when things don’t make sense until we reflect back and see what God was trying to teach us. Like the disciples in today’s verse from John 12, they didn’t realize that any of the scenery echoed the prophecy about Jesus in the Old Testament. From the palm branches people were waving, to the donkey Jesus was sitting on, and the crowd naming Him as King, the disciples couldn’t quite connect the dots on this one.
Maybe if I was one of the disciples, I would’ve been just as confused as they were. Like where did Jesus get this donkey? Did His mom buy this for Him as a pet? And I thought Jesus was a homeless, traveling teacher? He is far from being the wealthy King they are speaking about.
Thankfully, God is patient with us. He sometimes is in no rush to reveal something to us. There’s something rich about that though. We remember those struggles, those moments of confusion, frustration, and impatience. For me, reflecting on these moments is humbling. I am reminded of God’s heart for me and that He is willing to wait for me to listen at His feet. For any of you who are constantly and consistently immersed in the Bible, you’ll hear God call Scripture to mind. Often, God will put old Baptist hymns in my heart that I can’t help but sing over and over in my mind. It keeps me grounded.
God is interesting. Perhaps even strategic. He also gets pretty creative. But if we are listening closely and spending time with Him, He won’t let us miss the point. We might spend a whole season struggling just so that God can reveal to us the many layers of our complex hearts and minds.
When I finished graduate school, I spent months unemployed. I tirelessly applied for probably hundreds of jobs, got handfuls of interviews, only to be left disappointed over and over. I attached my value to the career I wanted to have, thinking every day that I didn’t have a full-time job perhaps pointed to many “facts” I believed about myself. I thought I wasn’t good enough and that maybe my resume didn’t have enough internships and volunteer hours. But I also knew that God had the right job in mind and was calling me to wait.
During that time, I ended up working at a local coffee shop. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I loved the people I worked with, our customers were great, I enjoyed choosing music to play in the cafe, and I got free drinks! As I look back on that experience, I know God knew that I needed to experience that season.
God cares about every moment of our lives and is so meticulous about His timing. Even though I have a full-time job now, I still miss being a barista. He used that moment to reaffirm my value and purpose. And in turn, He used me to reaffirm the value and purpose of others around me. I was able to encourage friends about their frustrations with the job hunt and that being a barista isn’t a job to be ashamed of.
1. When you get confused or frustrated with complex situations, do you get angry with God or do you seek His guidance? Why do you think this is your reaction?
2. When have you seen God reveal silver linings even amidst your present struggle?
Lord, sometimes my struggles feel endless. How do I see things from Your perspective, that You are achieving in me an eternal glory that far outweighs what I am experiencing right now? Show me how to trust You. Only You can affirm my value and purpose, amen.
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