The buds were forming on my newly planted gardenias. I waited in great anticipation to smell that wonderful fragrance once they fully bloomed. But what if I had tried to “help” out and
pulled open the buds? Of course, I never would have experienced the full blooms, but would have ruined the natural progression of the flower. How often do we try to do just that in our own lives..."helping" God out?
I graduated from college with a degree in accounting and I couldn’t wait to start my career. I worked for five years doing a job I absolutely loved. Then my first child was born. I really felt that I was to stay home and raise my children. I didn’t regret that choice for even a minute; however, there were some real challenges along the way. We cut our family income in half. I also struggled with a certain loss of identity that had been incorrectly placed in what I did instead of in who I am in Christ. I also felt challenged that if I loved accounting so much and felt that God had given me that gift, why would I be called to stay home and let that gift lay dormant?
To lengthen that decision, my husband and I homeschooled our children through high school, delaying my career even further. I am so glad I did, but I often wondered what God would do with my love of accounting. I did use that love for several not-for-profit organizations over the course of those years but knew God had more in store for me. When my youngest went off to college, I returned to the workforce and applied my accounting knowledge once again. The fulfillment exceeded my expectations and I realize that God’s plan for my career path proved better than anything I could have orchestrated.
God often used times of waiting for His people throughout the Bible. Those times of waiting allowed character to be developed and flaws to be removed. Just as I experienced a lot of growth over that time that my accounting career was on hold, so did many we see in the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there are seasons in our lives and a purpose in each season and opens with, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Moses spent 40 years of waiting in the wilderness before God took him back to Egypt to rescue the Israelites. The Israelites spent another 40 years wandering in the wilderness before they entered the promised land. King David waited several years after being anointed king before he ruled over the nation of Israel. Paul experienced a time of training and waiting after his Damascus road experience before spreading the Gospel.
We live in a world that demands instant gratification. However, God doesn’t work that way. He works in us to accomplish His purposes and that often takes much longer than we would like. If we remain faithful to His plan and timetable, the rewards of that waiting will produce a more fruitful harvest for His kingdom and we will be richer for it! Don’t try to open those buds too early. The waiting will be worth it.