In John 15:4
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
They say, “Rome was not built in a day”. And though it reflects a truth about patience and persistence as a life principle, I believe it also shines light on God’s work in our own lives. In our case, God isn’t building a mere pagan empire. Rather, He’s working to build a holy dwelling place in our hearts with the delicate hands and the deliberate will of a vinedresser. With deep intent in every decision, God will nurture, wait however long, and prune however much He desires to most glorify His name in us.
Though I insecurely admit I felt I had little to show for the work I had been doing, God’s work was increasing more than ever to prepare me for the greater work ahead.
Rather it was a gift that required time, hiddenness, and even some painful pruning in my life: It was the gift of waiting on the Lord.
As my fourth year has come to a close, God’ senior gift to me was the greatest I’ve ever received. And it wasn’t through my dreams coming true, more glamorous testimonies of faith, or external fruit that’s so easily recognized. Rather it was a gift that required time, hiddenness, and even some painful pruning in my life: It was the gift of waiting on the Lord.
Whenever I’d run in faith and feel the floor drop right under me, I’d question if I heard the Lord. Second-guessing ones ability to hear God, especially as a missionary, is an emotion I’d never wish on anyone. But, it showed me how far God would permit to protect me, refocus my gaze, and bring me back home to His presence. In hindsight, I heard crystal clear. But I was guilty of a grave sin akin to King Saul’s: Moving ahead of God because of my unbridled human zeal (1 Samuel 13:8-14).
men & women dependent on His presence, and not driven for His promises.
Only now can I see the fingerprints of God’s craftsmanship in transforming my driven heart into a dependent heart. I’ve come to learn the periods of waiting were God’s hands of protection to make me remember His faithfulness. It was a divine demand for my heart to embrace the nostalgia of heavens work, so that true hope may outgrow and expose the worldly hope I may have accidentally held on to. Waiting on God has never meant to be a challenge of our patience, but an invitation to know our eternal God more. Ultimately, it is God’s way in nurturing us into men & women dependent on His presence, and not driven for His promises.
As we embark on 2013, let us daily embrace that our God is going before us, if we let him; A God who is more dedicated to our highest calling, than we can ever be to ourselves. Our dreams for God are great and noble, but His dreams for us will always overshadow ours with the reality that we aren’t dreaming big enough.
So let us wait for God in joy, take his invitation to fall in Love, and change the world.