We know that God has an amazing plan written for each of our lives (just check out Jeremiah 29:11!). Maybe you have some idea what that might be, maybe you don’t, but for large chunks of time all of us face the frustration of not being there yet.
Don’t worry. God’s preparing the ground for a season of growth.
One of the most important steps in gardening is preparing the soil, because healthy soil is essential for healthy plants. Good soil is loose and fluffy, it has the perfect balance between holding water and draining well, and it’s full of the minerals plants need to flourish.
Try planting vegetables in the central reservation and you’ll see: soil that isn’t made ready won’t produce good fruit. We are very much the same.
Proverbs 24:27 says:
“Do your planning and prepare your fields
before building your house.” NLT
Here’s the thing: preparations are vital! You wouldn’t build a house until you’d planned it out and made sure you had everything you needed. The same goes for embarking on seasons of your life.
Maybe you feel like you are prepared. You’ve been reading the Bible, praying every day, serving in your church, cutting out bad habits, and you’re just so eager to live out God’s plan for you! So why has He not revealed to you what your house is going to look like? Why is He not opening doors for you?
The truth is, life is full of waiting rooms. Times when we’re sitting still, expectant but not yet walking through that door. You might feel like you’re fifteen minutes overdue your appointment, but it’s the doctor’s call when you’re seen to, not yours.
Waiting isn’t anyone’s hobby. It’s certainly not mine. When I’m waiting I find it very difficult to concentrate on what’s going on around me in the moment. Anyone who’s tried to have a conversation with me at a bus stop will know that. But while we’re waiting, we should remember: it’s far better to be still in God’s presence than maniacally rushing around without him.
So why are you waiting?
There are things going on in my life at the moment that I never would have been able to deal with a few years ago, simply because as time has passed I have grown in character. The soft skills I have picked up, and changes in attitude I’ve undergone, are not things that could have been forced or rushed. I couldn’t have gone on a training course and got it done in a week. These changes have been forged by the people I’ve known, the experiences I’ve had, and that bit of extra time to get to know myself and God a little better.
In everything we do, even and especially in the waiting, God prepares our character so that when the time comes, we will be able to make the most of the good and bear the bad. If we had hit those things before we were ready, it would not have been the best for us.
There are some things we simply cannot ready ourselves for. When we don’t know what’s ahead, how can we know how to prepare? That’s when we have to walk in faith with the one who has it all mapped out!
In Luke’s gospel (14:28), Jesus says:
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” NLT
Maybe you’re in your waiting room because you don’t have enough cash for your building yet. I don’t necessarily mean money (although that might be it), I’m talking about the spiritual, experiential capital that you’ll need to invest in whatever God has in store for you.
Perhaps you need to mature emotionally, perhaps you need more education, perhaps you need to meet certain people, or go through a particular experience to give you the passion you’re sure to need. Perhaps the waiting is that experience.
I can’t see my future, and so I don’t know what my building is going to look like. I don’t know what materials I will need, or even how to prepare the foundations. At the moment, it doesn’t feel like I’ll ever build anything! But I am in the hands of the architect, and He’s got it all measured out and the bricks are on back order.
Maybe you’re not in your real calling yet, but you are where you are for a good reason. And if you feel like nothing’s happening for you, that’s good, because you aren’t ready for it. Be patient and trust in the waiting, and get excited for the season of growth that’s on the horizon.