Joseph went through slavery and prison before he saw his dream come true. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness growing closer to God and allowing Him to work in his heart to remove the 40 years he spent in Pharaoh's house. David was anointed king as a boy yet had to serve Saul and wait roughly 20 years to reign over the entire nation. Elisha had to serve the prophet Elijah for many years before he was able to succeed him. Jesus himself lived in relative obscurity for three decades as a carpenter before he stepped out into his public ministry. All of these men, and more, waited for God to mold them into the person they needed to be before they could move into their dream.
In contrast, there are a few who did not wait and we see the kind of disaster it brought upon them. Saul was out looking for donkeys when Samuel anointed him king. He was thrust into immense power so quickly and as we tragically read throughout Scripture, his foundation was not strong and he tumbled pretty far. It was impatience and needing instant gratification that cost Esau his birthright. Subsequently, Jacob was haste in stealing the birthright and blessing that belonged to Esau. Sarah gave her maidservant to Abraham to conceive a child instead of waiting for God to fulfill His promise. The list could go on.
The Bible is filled with stories about waiting on God. We see great value in patience and endurance. Rarely did a dream come quickly and when it did, it often ended in disaster. I've watched this play out in my own life so vividly that I know that I know waiting is valuable. (Read More Here)
Here is what waiting for a dream produces:
- Growth - As we wait, we mature. Through our experiences, we gain wisdom and perspective. It's in our trials that we grow. There is so much that should take place between the conception of a dream and when it is birthed. If not, when birthed it will not be fully developed and ready to thrive out there in this big world. Don't rush through the season, no matter how hard it is, to get where your heart longs to go. If you do, you won't be fully prepared for what God has in store and will likely fail in your own attempts at achieving it. Allow time for growth to take place.
- Lessons - We often learn our greatest lessons in the storms..in the desserts...in our wandering in the wilderness. In our waiting seasons, that are at times dark and uncertain, we cling to God and His Word looking for insight and guidance. We stumble and find our way as we lean on Him. Waiting allows time for God to teach us valuable lessons we must learn if we are to step into the calling placed on our life. Don't rush the season and miss what God wants to teach you.
- Wisdom - Waiting produces great wisdom. In the trials, in the storms, in the moments nobody sees but God, we are being stretched and pruned for a great calling. We learn these incredible lessons that bring wisdom. Wisdom can't be bought or inherited; it's given by God through His Word. You'll need wisdom desperately as you step into roles and callings that are far beyond your education and experience.
I can't stress enough the value in waiting! I had 4 dreams conceived in my heart when I was 20 years old and 11 years later I'm still so far from seeing them birthed in this world. What's so interesting is that those pieces of these 4 dreams I'm starting to see take shape are purely there because God opened a door I wasn't looking for. I KNOW it's Him! And yet when I've tried to push a dream forward I've watched the doors slam shut. Not to say you shouldn't move forward in pursuing your dreams but the truth is when it's God's timing it will be right. And often God's timing requires some patience.
If you're training up next generation leaders in your church, don't be so quick to hand over the microphone or platform. There is oh so much value in the little, seemingly mundane, tasks. It will probably be hard for the big dreamers around you but in the end, it will have a bigger payoff.
If you're a Millenial excited to see your dream come true, or you're still waiting for that dream to take form, embrace the waiting! There are so many golden nuggets in this season that will be incredibly valuable to the ministry God has for you. Don't rush anything--you'll only deprive yourself of what is needed in you for ministry and others will miss out on what you can give to this world.