Have you ever been promised something amazing but found yourself waiting and wondering when it would arrive?
Sometimes, getting what we want doesn’t come as quickly as a package ordered on Amazon Prime and shipped via FedEx.
About three years ago, after much prayerful consideration and study, God called me to start this craft business. I combed through verse after verse sitting on the floor of my living room so that my coffee table could hold my bible right up to my face as I flipped through its worn pages. I was looking for evidence that this idea, this dream could possibly be considered worthy work, kingdom work, even. After all my careful study, the Holy Spirit led me to the conclusion that for work to be considered worthy, it must glorify God. From that moment on, I purposed that My Messy Desk would glorify my Creator with all the treasures and talents He had and would bestow upon me.
Any business these days requires a social media presence and a blog, so I started one. My original intent was to write about the beautiful things ladies were making at our workshops, promote upcoming crafts, and perhaps write a tutorial or two for other projects. God wasted no time showing me that He had other plans for this forum. Within a week or two, He inspired me to write some short devotions, which currently comprise the majority of the content on my blog.
It wasn’t long before I realized that what was happening around My Messy Desk was bigger than the crafts themselves.
Women opened their hearts and shared their worries, their dreams and their joys while their hands were busy stamping, painting or making jewelry. With little to distract my crafters while glue dried, bonds formed between us.
Over the last couple of years, my business has flourished and many have encouraged me in my writing as well. About two months ago, I took some steps to improve my writing and explore the possibility of a book. In this process, God has shown me how it is possible to merge my crafting and my writing as I expand my business by offering a devotion with a craft that supports the theme – Messes with a Message. It may have been obvious to others that this is the next logical step, but for whatever reason, He has just opened my eyes to this new possibility. He has given me a vision so clear that I cannot deny it, no matter how many times I ask if He is really sure about this!
But this is where the waiting begins for me.
Expanding my business too far isn’t practical until we stop moving every couple of years. That could be another 3 or 5 or more birthdays down the road for me. My children and my husband need me quite a bit during this season of our lives. Even more uncertain is the process of establishing myself as a speaker that people would want to hire or an author who’s book people would purchase. That’s a big scary wait and see with a bunch of terrifying tasks standing in my way.
A couple of guys in the bible knew about waiting for the fulfillment of their promise from God. Joshua and Caleb were the only two of 12 spies Moses sent out into the Promised Land who returned with a positive attitude about how the Israelites would accomplish what God had promised to them. Even after their physical presence in the land, tasting the fruit and seeing what God said they would possess, the other ten tried to convince Moses that it was an impossible mission. “The people are giants.” “Their cities are too fortified.” “It is too dangerous.” “We will surely be torn to pieces.” (Numbers 13-14)
They lacked the faith that God would do what He said despite the lengths to which He had already gone to prove this very thing to them. God was ready to wipe His people off the face of the earth and start fresh with ever-faithful Moses, but Moses prayed. Part of Moses’ intercession was to ask God what the Egyptians would think if, after their great exodus God annihilated His people. What report would that send to Pharaoh? God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt for a reason – to show the world how much He loved and protected His own people. That message would get lost in translation if He utterly destroyed them. (Numbers 14:11-25)
The other ten spies were punished for their unfaithfulness and died from the plague. Then, the Israelites endured nearly 40 years of wandering in the desert waiting for the adults of that generation to die before God gave the order to cross the Jordan River once again. (Numbers 14:26-38)
After the judgment, some of the Israelites decided to attack early, but without the presence of God and His direction, they were defeated and driven back easily. They wanted to atone for their unbelief by taking it upon themselves to rush into battle, but God had already declared their punishment. (Numbers 14:39-45) This is a warning to us to refrain from bounding ahead toward our promise before God has given us permission, to be faithful in all he commands, even the discipline for our sin and unbelief.
Finally, the time came for Caleb and Joshua and the new generation of Israelites who had been born in the desert to enter the promised land. Now, Joshua commanded the Israelite forces as they conquered the land flowing with milk and honey. He was chosen for this position of great power and authority because he didn’t falter in his faith. He held on to the assurance that God would be with them and would do what He said.
God used the time of wandering to strengthen and prepare the Israelites for the task that lay ahead. Joshua prepared spiritually, physically and emotionally while serving under Moses until God said the time was right. God not only prepared, disciplined, and increased the Israelites in number, but He also provided for them in material ways throughout the wandering so that there could be no doubt about His presence with them.
Waiting for the fulfillment of a promise from God might require a little more of us than just checking the shipping status in an on-line tracking system. We all know that doesn’t make our package arrive any faster.
This my call to action. I will prepare while I wait, so that when the promise comes I’m ready to possess it to the glory of God.
I will draw closer to God by studying His word and praying with great fervor and faith. I will learn all I can about the ministry and service He is preparing for me. I will hone my skills in writing and crafting and speaking. I will relish each opportunity to practice them, even when the task seems daunting. I will do my best to obey Him in all I do while I wait. When I fail I will embrace His discipline as a form of teaching, not an excuse to quit.
I certainly hope my waiting time is less than 40 years, but if not I will have gained so much wisdom and experience and strengthened my faith in God, that it will be clearly evident that He not only chose me for my purpose but that He alone prepared me! This is where I claim the words of Psalm 27:14. I will courageously wait on the Lord while He strengthens my heart!
What are you waiting for? Have you had a glimpse into the purpose for which God saved you? Is there a promise on your horizon? Are there steps you can take now to prepare you to claim it according to God’s timing?
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for the awesome wonders you have promised to work through me for Your glory. I ask that you would strengthen me for the task ahead and make me ready when the time is right according to Your will. Protect me as I prepare and guide me ever-closer to You by Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Wait on the Lord;
be of good courage and
He will strengthen your heart.
Wait, I say, on the Lord!