When we journey through life, we are filled with zeal at various points, burning with passion, and eager to realize the many dreams that we have. We hope for a great career, a wonderful spouse, and amazing opportunities to come our way. We believe wonderful things are at hand.
But when time passes and nothing remarkable seems to happen, when we find ourselves facing obstacles that seem too large to surmount; when we meet with one defeat after another, the fire starts to die out. We begin to think that we will never get any good breaks, the person we have been waiting for will never come our way, we will never realize our dreams. Consequently, the passion diminishes. We stop dreaming. We reconcile ourselves to living in a rut.
We need to remind ourselves that life has seasons, just like nature has. The wise king Solomon wrote: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1). We may ask: “But when is my season going to come? I’ve been waiting on God for years faithfully, but nothing is happening!”
Well, consider a seed. It doesn’t grow into a tree and bear fruit overnight. It first has to be planted. It then has to germinate. Some seeds germinate quickly, within hours; others take time, sometimes weeks! Then, the little sapling has to grow into a plant. Again, some plants grow rapidly; others take months, even years, to become trees. Only then do they bear fruit.
When grown from seed, a mango tree takes about ten years to start fruiting, but it can then produce fruit for more than 40 years! An even more spectacular example of delayed growth is the Chinese bamboo. Nothing seems to happen when you plant a bamboo sprout in the ground for four or five years! Think about that for a moment. You water, fertilize, nurture, and nourish it day after day for years, without anything happening. Then, suddenly, almost overnight, it grows to a staggering ninety feet tall!
You may have been waiting on God for years for him to answer your prayers, sometimes wondering if he was even listening! Your cries to heal a beloved spouse, your appeals to deliver an addicted son, your pleas to get you out of your enormous debt. You are closer today than you ever have been that your prayers are being answered.
So, live with the expectancy that your time is close at hand. So close, it could happen today. Believe it will. So fire up your passion. Get your hopes up. Start dreaming again. Jesus said, “Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).