Waiting, Waiting, Waiting.....Why are you torturing me, God?

Dream big, they said.

So we do. We dream God-given plans, God-given dreams and desires, we carry His promises from the Scriptures in our heart and nurture the dream.

For one, the soft whisper of "pastor" stirs their heart like nothing else. For another, the idea of being a CEO of a company sends chills of great excitement down their spine. Dreaming big and believing God.

And then, nothing.

Let me do a detour here for a bit. Many, many years ago, there once was a boy who was told he would be king, he even got anointed with oil by a prophet of God. He was not born of royalty, in fact, he was a lowly shepherd boy and then, one day, this dream, this calling was suddenly put into his heart and into his mind. I don't know about you, but there is one mistake I've made many times over previously. Any time God had said something to me, I would think it was going to happen the very next day. I have since learned that God doesn't work that way. How hard it must have been for David, the boy in our story. Imagine you get told you will be king and then, the next day when you wake up, you're back to tending the sheep out there and mucking their poop with not a shiny gold crown in sight.

It's easy now to read stories in Scripture about how the people have overcome and how they've kept the faith and persevered and how the dream got fulfilled in the end. Then we think of us today and real life and begin to compare how much easier it was back then. The truth is nothing has changed. Just fashion and technology. David had to wait for a long while before that dream put into him by God became a reality. He had to confront a giant, received death threats and assaults, run for his life, hide in caves and then, oh joy, hang out with a bunch of guys who were not from the right side of the tracks. And still, there was no shiny gold crown in sight.

It's not so different for us today as we wait for God's promise to us to be fulfilled. We feel that we are called to be a pastor, CEO, teacher, doctor, or motivational speaker and we get confirmation so we are sure and sure and sure of it....and then, crickets. Nothing. Not even a whiff. Instead, everything that happens later is the exact opposite of how things should work out for the dream to come to life. Meanwhile, time keeps ticking by.

Perhaps, for those with the dream to be a pastor, our pastor suggests we go to bible school to prepare for it. So we go but hey, we got this huge God-given dream and we know enough already because this whole thing is from Him, right? The thing we really need to sharpen is how we preach, how we use our personalities to gain the attention of the people, how to have them listen to what we preach. That's what's important, so we don't think we need to read our required readings from our courses or do the assignments. When we have church events, we skip our bible school classes because church events are fun and besides, we're just passing time in bible school to get our degree and eventually get ordained as a pastor at the end. It's a God-given dream and calling, so no matter what, it will happen, so we focus on what we like doing and ignore the things we have to do, right?

David might have been young but he didn't use the fact that God anointed and called him to be king as an excuse to not do what he was given to do for that season in his life. He was still a shepherd to his father's sheep and he took that seriously. Anyone see the allegory to his later being king of all of Israel, God's people? David the shepherd to his earthly father's baa-baa sheep was being trained to be David the shepherd of his heavenly Father's sheep, the people of Israel. Wow, talk about literal training ground.  David remained faithful to his calling as a shepherd during that season although I'm sure he probably wondered if his anointing had all been a dream. He did what he was responsible for, and waited on God. While he waited, he was faithful in the little things, even the things no one else wanted to do.

We often miss the fact that a big part of our dream coming to fulfillment is the part that is considered training. What we view as waiting is actually a time of training. 

Let's go back to the bible school student with the dream of becoming a pastor. This person assumed that just because they had a God-given calling, everything would be dropped onto their laps just like that without them having to do anything they didn't want to do. They focused in on one aspect of being a pastor and believed they only needed to train for that one area because that was the area they liked best. By not doing the work required of them in their courses that they didn't enjoy, they were not only shortchanging themselves but also revealing themselves to be irresponsible and untrustworthy. In short, they failed to be faithful in the little things and showed themselves to be dishonest with what had been given to them.

When David became king, he had authority. Not only the authority that was given to him because of his position, but also the authority to effect change in his people's behaviour. How so? He could lead his people through hardships and difficulties because he had gone through really tough times himself. He could lead his people to be honest and brave because he had done that himself. He could talk about trusting God through difficult times because he had faced many difficult times and saw how God delivered him through them. In other words, through him being faithful in the little things while he was waiting to be king, David had the right to be able to speak into his subjects' lives and lead them while also gaining their respect and trust as a leader.

The person in bible school who refused to do their course assignments or things they didn't like to do may be able to somehow graduate and get ordained. They might have authority given them because of their position and office. However, they have no authority to speak into anyone's lives or lead them through anything because they haven't been faithful with the little that God had given them to steward and besides, how could they teach anyone to be responsible when they never learned how to be? How could they teach anyone to be honest when they never were? Could anyone be sure that as a pastor, this person would not throw in the towel and quit when things got hard since they always chose to do what was easy?

Friends, don't be afraid to dream big God-given dreams, whatever they may be. They don't always have to be career or ministry-oriented. But know that those dreams come with training sessions first. Those sessions could be formal studies or training, but it could also be augmented with long periods of waiting which are actually a different form of training. Let's do a paradigm shift and stop viewing those waiting periods as God torturing us and dragging His toes on giving what He has promised.

Instead, let us look at the waiting periods as times of training for what we have been called to do and let us also not the despise the small beginnings, no matter how small they are, whether they be things we like to do or not. Everything in our paths during our times of waiting needs to be considered as training which means we are not supposed to wait and twiddle our thumbs doing nothing, but to actually be learning and taking small, responsible steps towards reaching our dream. 

Let's pray that we all be found faithful in the little things and not think that they are beneath us to do.

"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." ~ Luke 16:10


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