For you, “Barbados”:
Wouldn’t it be nice if, when God promised something specific for our lives, we instantly saw the manifestation of that promise?
Why does God often put us through long waits for those things we have “heard” from him? We know the Bible is full of similar stories of waiting. And waiting. And waiting. But we thought ours would be different. We never imagined until we experienced it ourselves, how very, very difficult it is to hold on, to keep believing, to not become disillusioned with God and his ways.
I’ve had to wait, I know what it’s like. For some promises I am absolutely certain were from God, I’m into the third decade of waiting. Some things that have been fulfilled got much worse before they got better. I ended up in years of agony before the tide turned and a flood of blessings began to overtake me. Over those long, barren years, I worked out some of why God made me wait. The reasons are as varied as the specific promises, as unique as my fingerprints are to me and me only, but I can tell you they were worth it. I wouldn’t want to go back, ever, and do it again, but they needed to happen as they did.
I understand the agony of the wait. Early on, I threw a few temper tantrums towards God over his unfulfilled promises. I had (naively) told people about them, only to look like a fool when nothing happened. I blamed him. After those tantrums, I wondered what he thought of my immaturity and anger. Do you know what I got from him when I half expected “a spanking”? — Admiration. I got his admiration. He spoke approvingly to my spirit the word, “Honest”. I sensed him pull me into his arms, his wonderful boundaries, just as a good parent does when their toddler loses self-control. Afterward, I realized he’d drawn my honest feelings out of me — I hadn’t recognized they were even in there. I learned a lot about ME.
I’ve had to wait, just like you have. I continue to wait, just like you are. And in the wait, things happen. Within me. Beyond me. Within others that are still to enter my life. My loyalty to him is being tested. My fortitude is growing. Wisdom is being acquired, and with it, authority. Some days I am aware of positive changes I never asked for nor aspired to, and on those days I know that the change could not have happened without the wait. On other days I am unaware of anything positive at all — it simply feels unfair, tortuous, futile. Those are the days I must be intentional. The responsibility is on me to regain my stance of faith. “When you have done all else, stand.”
Barbados, I don’t know your name, but my blog’s administration page tells me you are reading one particular post over and over. One day last week, when I noted you had yet again read “Promises Fulfilled”, I “heard” from the Holy Spirit the word “mastery”. He put in me an understanding that in your wait, you are becoming “a master”.
He has had you in your unique circumstances, as long as it has been for you, and as painful as it has often felt to you, to develop mastery — for you to manage with excellence his plan for your life. Had his promises been fulfilled years ago, you would have not yet been a master at delivering what is of him, of managing it and protecting it from wolves in sheep’s clothing. You needed the time to change within, to pull out your resolve, to develop and cement your fortitude, tenacity, confidence and faithfulness. You have become a strong fortress because of the wait. You have become wise to people in the wait. Like me, you were comparatively naive to them before. You now spot wolves in sheep’s clothing quite easily. You now discern others by their hearts instead of their appearances.
You have become a master at a myriad of skills necessary to successfully manage God’s promises to you. You have become capable of not throwing it away through mismanagement, and not allowing it to be corrupted or stolen by unrighteous or unprepared people. You know what it took for you to be considered capable, you no longer assume just anyone can come along and manage well what God entrusts you with.
It’s been about Mastery. Making you a master. I find this interesting, because he hasn’t used that word with me, though I recognize the explanation I’ve just written to you. He has most often presented himself as a coach to me. I have been coached to understand that elite athletes don’t become so overnight. Nobody goes to the Olympics who hasn’t put in years, even a lifetime of work in obscure gyms, fields, lonely roads, lakes and mountainsides. They don’t become elite athletes instantly, or without an almost exclusive focus on their goal. They eat what they do to help reach their goal; they sleep when they do to reach their goal; they do what their coach tells them even when it makes no sense to them … all to reach their goal.
For you, Barbados, God uses the term Mastery. No doubt his choice of words is rich with meaning and as unique to you as your fingerprints are yours and yours alone.
Why has he made you wait for those things that he spoke to your heart? He is making you, in the wait, in the struggles, in the agony of it all, into a …
Well done, Barbados. Continue on. The world needs you,. We need you to be nothing less than a master. One day I hope to meet you and witness what a true master’s work looks like. I suspect it will look, and sound, and feel like …
Gold. Pure gold.