Os Hillman wrote in his devotional, TODAY GOD IS FIRST:
" A rocket launch is truly an amazing phenomenon to me. Tons of weight is stacked vertically to the sky with thousands of gallons of fuel exploding in a matter of moments. Soon the rocket drops its take-off boosters and uses additional boosters to move the rocket to the next stage of the mission. The first engines have a unique purpose...to get the rocket to the next stage.
Joshua was known for almost 40 years as "Joshua, servant of Moses." God's preparation for him required years of selfless service, training in the desert, and tests of faith. Those preparation years were booster rockets designed to move Joshua into each new stage of his development and his ultimate calling.
God allows each of us preparation times to lay a foundation that He plans to build on. Some of those foundation times appear to be laborious and meaningless, yet these varied experiences are what God is using to frame your life for the message He plans to speak through you. Without these foundational experiences, the Jordan River can never be crossed and we cannot enter the Promised Land.
Embrace these times of seeming inactivity from God. They, too, are a rocket booster to your next stage of your walk with God. "
This got me to thinking about my own life....
As I look back over the years, I can see how each experience was a stepping stone to another step of maturity in my Christian walk. At the time you are going through a trial or a struggle or a storm, you cannot see ANY benefit to it, any reason that makes any sense. But on down the road, you can look back and begin to see the pieces of the puzzle beginning to fall into place. You realize how God has used each of those experiences for a purpose...HIS purpose....to mold you and move you forward.
God moves at His own pace. Sometimes that is frustrating to me, especially when I'm praying for someone. When there is someone I love that is not where they need to be with Him, it is hard to wait on the process. Yet, I KNOW that He is working. I see baby steps and I thank Him for that. I want to see one giant leap, but rarely does God work like that. He is more about the process than He is about the end result.
I've often struggled with the fact that it took God so long to change Paul from Saul the Christian killer to Paul, the Apostle. He could have gotten his attention long before He did and a lot of innocent people would not have died. But He didn't. Then one day I read, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace to reveal His Son in me that I might preach him among the heathen..." Galatians 1: 15, 16. Did you catch that? It was "when it pleased God". God is on His own timetable, NOT OURS!
God uses the experiences of our life to bring us to maturity.
Moses spent time in the palace as a prince then herded sheep for 40 years before God called him to lead his people out of Egypt.
Joseph was thrown in a pit, then sold into slavery by his own brothers. He spent the next 17 years in and out of prison, seemingly forgotten til God raised him to power to serve Him in one of the highest positions in the land.
Jacob worked 20 years for Laban before he was released from Laban's control.
Abraham and Sarah waited almost 100 years before they were given Isaac.
God is at work in our lives every minute of every day. He does not make mistakes...there are no "Oops" with God. He is in control and He knows exactly where we are and exactly what He is seeking to accomplish in our lives. If we are obedient, if we are seeking Him rather than running from Him, the process may be shorter and less painful. But He is always working in our lives to accomplish the purpose for which we were created.
How about your life? Can you see how God has used your past experiences to bring you to where you are today? Thank Him today for all He has taught you, for all He is doing in your life, that you might become a vessel of honor fit for the Master's use.