“May he work perfection into every part of you, giving you all that you need to fulfill your destiny.” (Hebrews 13:21).
Have you ever been driving on the beach and gotten stuck in the sand? Or traveling in a winter storm and been stuck in the snow? Your wheels spin…and spin…and yet you stay in the same place. It’s frustrating.
Sometimes we feel that way about our lives. We try and try, but we stay in the same place. Maybe our long-held dream is still on hold. Maybe we’re in the same job, though we thought we would have been promoted by now. Maybe we have been praying the same prayer for months, or even years, but can’t see that we’re any closer to an answer. Maybe our ministry isn’t progressing as we hoped it would. And so we feel stuck.
But maybe we’re not stuck. Maybe we’re in training.
Consider David, the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons, the undervalued little brother who was given the menial job of watching the sheep.
When Samuel showed up to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, everyone was shocked when little brother David was selected to be the next king of Israel. Surely David must have thought his life was going to be different. But the next day he was back in the field watching the sheep. Historians believe that David spent two years watching sheep after he had been anointed king.
Day after day after day watching the sheep. Spinning his wheels, and seemingly getting nowhere. But David wasn’t stuck. He was in training.
God had some things to teach David during those two years. David learned how to care for and protect his father’s sheep. He learned to bravely fight and defeat any enemy that attacked the sheep. He learned to be faithful day in and day out. God hadn’t forgotten his purpose for David. David was destined to be king; God was just making sure David was ready.
David wasn’t the only one who went through a training time. Moses spent 40 years in the desert watching sheep before leading Israel out of bondage. Joseph spent ten years in prison before implementing a plan to save Egypt and Canaan in a time of famine. Jesus went directly from being baptized and set forth by the Father to 40 days in the desert with no company but the devil.
David, Moses, Joseph, and Jesus—all of them had a time when it looked as if they were stuck, but they were really being trained to fulfill the purpose God had planned for them.
Friend, it may look as if you’re stuck. You may be so stuck you think you hear tires spinning. But God hasn’t forgotten your purpose. He hasn’t left you. Waiting time is preparation time. Waiting is how you learn what you need to know to do what God called you to do.
When God develops character, he’s not in a hurry. God is patient. God makes sure we’re ready before he moves us into the next chapter of our story. Yes, often we’d like him to hurry, but he loves us enough to make sure we’re ready before moving us to the next phase. Because he loves us, we can trust him during the wait. And God’s purpose is totally worth the wait.
Dear God, I’m so thankful that you direct my steps. Even when I don’t understand your timing, I know your way is perfect and your purpose will happen. Help me be faithful in every season of my life, including times of waiting. Develop patience and trust in my spirit. Equip me to step into the plans you have for my future. Thank you for your wisdom and guidance. In Jesus’s name, amen.