Sometimes delays are huge, formidable mountains that slow you down, intimidate you, or force you find another route to your dreams. Sometimes the most painful delay is the waiting. The natural progression of the journey…
Time. Space. Days. Years. Miles.
As fun as it would be, “Beam me up, Scotty!” isn’t something we can deploy in life. Sadly, flux capacitors and time traveling Deloreans are still a wild fantasy. Otherwise, every 13 year old would zoom to age 16 or 18 or 21. Some young women would travel warp speed through time to find themselves married with children. Expectant mothers would blast through nine months to hold their babies sooner. Builders, dreamers, entrepeneurs would skip over all the tedious details and mind-boggling challenges to the ribbon cutting ceremonies.
Waiting. Hoping. Dreaming. Longing.
All these things are a part of the human experience. Sadly, many people find themselves scared, frustrated, lonely and BORED during this waiting season.
This subject has been very dear to my heart lately as I watch my sons grow into teenagers. I see dreams and goals starting to spark within them. I hear the longing in their voices as they speak of the future. I’m so happy to see the independence, the excitement, the wonder, and the yearning in their eyes.
At the same time, I know. I know of the waiting. I know of the obstacles and challenges between the ‘here and now’ and the ‘there and then’. My deep desire is to see them fulfill all that God has for them in this life – and I’m humbled by the reality that I CANNOT make their dreams come true. I CANNOT line up their lives to put them in the right place at the right time. I CANNOT make the coach pick them, the college choose them, the employer hire them, or the universe line up for them to meet the most amazing young woman to be their wife.
These are the reasons why I tell them. I can’t. I do not have the means to do all these things for you. But, oh, sweet child – God can! I have told them since they were little as they learned to jump rope or tie their shoes – “you can do anything with patience, diligence, and knowing that God is with you.”
You have to have all three. You simply must be patient and not get frustrated. Frustration makes you panic, make bad choices, or give up altogether. Frustration clouds the mind and doesn’t allow you to see what IS right in front of you because it’s focusing on what IS NOT there.
Diligence is so important, too! Because when the world is telling you it can’t be done but you know in your heart that you can, you must continue to work at it. Don’t give in. Keep practicing, keep trying, keep learning, keep hoping, and do not give up.
And the glue that holds the dream together is the unwavering belief, and keen awareness that God is with you and that all things are possible with God. I remind them regularly that “you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
It’s repeated like a mantra in the face of every new challenge in our house.
Patience. Diligence. God is with us.
I want my boys to know that right now the challenges may seem trivial (like finding that pair of shoes or the lost toy) but the same principles that will allow them to find what is lost today are the principles that will get them to their dreams and goals in life.
Patience. Diligence. God is with you.
I repeat it regularly because I want those words to reverberate in their minds. One day in the future, when they’re faced with a challenge that seems to defy the odds, I want them to remember. One day, when they see their friends getting jobs, getting married, having children, and they’re still waiting for the right woman, I want their hearts to refuse to be discouraged and keep them believing because it is written on their hearts.
Patience. Diligence. God is with me.
I don’t want them to give up on their dreams when people let them down or doors close in their faces. I don’t want them to stop on the road to their destiny by settling in some comfortable spot along the way before they’ve realized their full potential.
I don’t want their dreams, hopes, and desires to die while they just try to plug away in life. I want them to remember that while they’re living each day there is something to learn, someone to help, and every season has something to enjoy, but don’t give up on the dream.
Each day you have opportunities to learn, to grow, to serve, and to help. The key to your tomorrow is how faithful you are with what God has given you today. If you’re not married yet, then rejoice that one day you will be but right now you have freedom to take that class on marriage at your church, read those books on family budgeting, learn more about doing odd jobs around the house so you don’t have to call someone every time you have a problem.
The truth is that even though you may be stuck in today while you wait for tomorrow you do not have to be mired in misery! You can see that you’ve been given one more day to prepare you for your future. You have been given another day to absorb all that the present has to offer. Please don’t waste today waiting for tomorrow.
You may be waiting, but that doesn’t have to mean you’re doing nothing. Hone your skills, increase your knowledge, enjoy the relationships in your life, absorb the wisdom of the older generation around you.
I’m convinced that the keys to fulfilling our dreams and destiny are found in our day to day life and the opportunities around us. If we had the ability to jump ahead to our future we would arrive unprepared and lacking the wisdom and perseverance to handle the challenges the future holds.
I may not be able to fulfill all my children’s needs and fill their lives with success. However, I can teach them to enjoy today and learn everything they can to prepare them for what lies I ahead. I can teach them to put away frustration and make peace with where they are right now while still encouraging them to never give up the dream and diligently pursue their passions. I can remind them that I may be unable to do all they need, but God is able. God is limitless. Keep your trust in Him – not dad or me – to fulfill your dreams and take you where you need to go. Don’t put your trust in the people around you. Do not put your trust in the economy, the government, the educational institutions, or anywhere else because they are all LIMITED.
Keep your eyes on the One with no limits who knows you intimately and has prepared an amazing path for you. When you get your eyes on the ability of others – or even on yourself – then you limit your future human capability. When you keep your eyes on God and have your trust in Christ, you plug into limitless love and ability.
Make peace with today. Acknowledge that there may be a waiting period before you see your dreams fulfilled, but ask God what you can be doing today to honor Him, to prepare for your future, and to help others find hope.
You are where you are and there is nothing you can do to change that. You won’t be beamed or zapped anywhere else. But that doesn’t mean you are stuck here either. Today is simply a stepping stone to the future, don’t be tripped up by it! Use it to propel you forward. Learn something new, sharpen your skills, conquer that bad habit, or increase your expectancy and keep your eyes on Him and His ability as He takes you – in due season – to the next level.
Patience. Diligence. God is with you.
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:9
Scriptures to encourage yourself with: Hebrews 10:35, Galatians 6:9, Jeremiah 33:3, Jeremiah 29:11, Luke 16:10, Matthew 19:26.