We all can get excited about a new venture, an opportunity to start a new project, to build a new house or to start a family. We can get excited to end a season or project at work, or see our kids go off to college and start their lives; but what about all of the time and work between the start and the finish?
For example who doesn’t love a good sandwich? A nice warm BLT with extra bacon sounds amazing. Follow me…the first slice of bread is like the beginning of our new project whatever it is. It’s just the beginning but totally necessary because you can’t eat a sandwich without a top. Then there is the bottom piece of bread, also yummy and needed.
But what makes the sandwich a real meal is all of the stuff in the middle, the bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Without all of that you only get to eat bread…not nearly as tasty or fun to eat. It’s always easier to start something and to feel the gratification of completing it than it is to trudge through the middle process of it.
Pregnancy for example sounds like a great idea until you get to about eight months and you want nothing more than for it to be over. You’re back hurts, your feet are swollen, you feel like a cow and you can’t sleep; and you still have labor and delivery to face. Can’t we just skip to the part where I get to hold my beautiful baby? #process
So many times when we are asking God for His will in our life, or to let us impact His Kingdom, He will give us an opportunity. It totally looks like an opportunity, smells like an opportunity but it’s really more like a challenge with all of the ear markings of a difficulty better known as a trial.
The children of Israel wanted a deliverer to get them out of slavery and take them to the Promised Land. So God sends them Moses, the top piece of bread in their sandwich. He then leads them to the wilderness aka the middle. Now the middle is where God attempts to get them ready for the last slice of bread, the Promised Land, to be added.
If we can’t properly process the steps in the middle we will never achieve creating a sandwich. God has offered us a sandwich and wants us to have it; but He alone knows all of the ingredients it will take, the work involved and the time necessary to assemble this amazing BLT that He is offering us.
Let’s be honest, when we see that great opportunity in front of us no one ever really comprehends the process we will go through in the middle. We don’t know about the pruning, the shaping, the hard work, the flesh crucifying obstacles that await us that will make us ready for the last slice of bread to be added so we can enjoy our sandwich. Thankfully God does. He knows exactly what we need to shape us into the vessels that we have to be to fully enjoy what He has for us.
We always think we are ready way before we actually are. That’s called pride btw, and it is the main obstacle we must overcome. Along the way we are given the chance to address our heart motives, our buried wounding, and our judgmental attitudes we didn’t realize we had. All the things we didn’t previously see that come to the surface in the middle and that will keep us from the great sandwich that we desire to eat.
Each opportunity we face, most of which are designed by Satan to kill, steal and destroy us; are carefully taken by our Father and beautifully offered to us as opportunities for Him to use them for our good. We are always given a choice…to submit to our feelings and disappointment in the middle or to take it as the opportunity it is and embrace it as a chance to learn, grow and mature into the sons and daughters of God we are called to be.
Paul said it best, “For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease.]