There was a season in my life, where the main thing God seemed to be teaching me was waiting. It was either waiting to get through school so I could enter the “real world,” or waiting for the opportunity to use the gifts God has given me.
So much of that time, seemed like wasted time. But, what I have come to realize is that God was up to something even in those times when I was waiting. He was doing something extremely important; He was shaping me to be ready for his plan.
Ship Without A Rudder
There was a season of about five years, between 1993 and 1998, when it felt like I could not get a job, even if my life depended on it. I wanted to go in one particular direction but, each time the door would close in my face.
I took a series of job, mostly low-paying and temporary jobs. I felt a serious sense of shame that I was not doing more to help my family out. I couldn’t see what God was doing and remember complaining to my pastor, saying, “I feel like a ship without a rudder, wandering aimlessly.”
So, during that time, I took a temporary position. I loved the office that I worked in, and the job itself. It was a temporary job that was supposed to last 6 weeks. It ended up lasting 22 months. I tried 3 times to get a permanent position there, but each time the door slammed shut.
I suspect that I would still be there today if that door had opened. God had other plans for me, so that door remained shut. I resented it at the time and it felt like God was ignoring my situation.
What I didn’t realize was that “no” is still an answer. Maybe it just wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear at the time.
Silently at Work
Then I became a deacon of the small church I was attending, while at the temporary job. I also got involved in a children’s ministry program to work with boys, and helped raise my daughter who was born in 1996. I got to see her grow up right in front of me, having the experience of taking care of her during the day.
Looking back on it, I don’t know why I was in such a rush to move on to a permanent job to begin with. One of my pastor friends in Texas told me that even when God appears to be silent, He is still at work. We walk by faith and not by sight.
Sometimes the most important things that need to change, in order for prayers to be answered, are things that we cannot see. By this I mean things like patience, forgiveness and character. These things the world seems to think should just naturally be there, but God realizes they need to be cultivated.
The Lesson of Joseph
Think about Joseph in Bible. The story goes that he was sold into slavery and then ended up, through no fault of his own, in prison. Apparently, he was there for some time.
When his brothers came to see him in Egypt, they did not recognize Joseph. It appears that even when he revealed who he was that they had a hard time believing it was him.
Joseph realized that his brothers had harmed him, but he also realizes that God was also up to something as well. He tells his brothers that God meant it for good, in order to bring about a deliverance of his family.
If you look a little more into the story, you see that God was molding Joseph, while he was in prison, to be the leader that God wanted him to be. He wasn’t waiting time, he was growing Joseph.
Are You Ready for What God is Preparing for You?
I would challenge you to take a look at your life and see what God has been preparing you for. Perhaps you have had struggles like me where you are waiting for an opportunity for a new job, or it just feels like God isn’t doing much in your life right now. What things inside of you need to change, so that you will be ready for the next blessing God wants to give you?
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