It wasn’t fair. My older brother and sister got to attend camp, but I was too little. I couldn’t wait to be old enough to do all the fun things my older siblings got to do. As an adult, I see the same thing in our youngest child. At age two, he was riding a two-wheeled scooter with all the neighbor kids. At age four, he took a whole thirty minutes to transition from tricycle to two-wheeled bike…with no training wheels!!
Sometimes I still feel like that little girl longing to be bigger so I can do the fun stuff. I identify with my son who sees no reason why he can’t keep up with kids twice his size. He resents being called little and longs to be a real big kid.
Even as I’m an adult, I still have big dreams that I haven’t grown into yet. I still get impatient that they haven’t materialized. In our youth-adoring society, we seem to think that if our dream hasn’t materialized by the time we are twenty-five, then we have missed our chance.
Sometimes it is good to stretch for that thing just beyond our reach. Other times, we just have to wait to grow into that giant bicycle. After all, the Apostle Paul went incognito for several years between his conversion to the beginning of his public ministry. Abraham was 100 years old when he finally got his promised child. Joshua spent decades as Moses’ right-hand man before he had the chance to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Even Jesus waited until he was 33 to begin his ministry.
Why does God sometimes make us wait so long? It’s probably for the same reason why an oak tree takes a century to grow, while the fast-growing poplar tree has only a 30-year lifespan. Some callings require lots of preparation. God has to mold us, strengthen our faith, and work on our humility. We admire the ministries of Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, or Ravi Zacharias and others…but we don’t see the years of refining they endured to get them to their current ministries.
I have big dreams. I get impatient to see them realized.
I need to remember to wait for God to help me grow into whatever role He has chosen for me. My impatience indicates that I’m not ready yet.
Meanwhile, I need to dig in, abide in Jesus, and let God work the kinks out of my soul.