So many times we feel like we are racing to fulfill the dreams God has given us. We know what God has promised us, and we know He is Faithful, but we fail to recognize the miracles during the journey! If you are discouraged and tired of waiting because you haven't seen your promise come to life, release it. Don't give up on it, but release it to God's hand and His timing. Pay attention to the miracles on the journey. The valleys prepare us and give us the strength and the "right attitude" to stand on the mountains.
Nonetheless, waiting is extremely difficult. And sometimes it seems even when we are gaining momentum on our journey we can hit a brick wall and come to a complete stop. The sudden stop can be jolting, but it doesn’t mean the journey has ended. Here are a few ways to enjoy your journey as well as the pit stops!
First of all we need to remember, when God calls us to do something for Him, or places a dream in our hearts, it might not come to pass immediately. We can save ourselves a lot of frustration if we understand the appointing doesn’t always occur at the time of the anointing—or calling. Think about David. He was anointed as King when he was just a boy, but it was years later before he was appointed as King.
God doesn’t do this to frustrate us, but to encourage us to draw closer to Him and prepare for the task He has assigned us. Its like a roll of film. If it is exposed to the light before it is developed, the film is ruined. There is joy in the development phase even if we don’t recognize it immediately. Looking back now, I can see all the things God used to prepare me for ministry. At the time I didn’t realize it was Him preparing me because it was enjoyable. Look for joy in the small, but necessary training assignments! We have to remember we are also being developed, and God will let us know when its time to move into our appointed place. His timing is perfect!
Secondly, we need to understand that just because God has revealed our calling to us, He hasn’t necessarily revealed it to others yet. If you are like me, I felt it would take a lifetime to get speaking engagements. I became so frustrated because I knew God had a message for me to share, but I had nowhere to share it. No one had ever heard of me and so doors were completely closed to me.
I did everything to get invitations to speak. I sent out emails to pastors. I sent postcards and brochures to pastors telling them about my ministry. And guess what? Nothing happened. Out of 200 emails sent, I received maybe three or four replies, and they replied to say, “Maybe we can schedule something in the future.” I never heard from them again. It was hard. I was hurt, I was confused, and I even doubted my calling.
That’s when God said, “Stop! You have been trying to do it your way. When you let go, and quit striving to make things happen, I will open the right doors for you.” It was so hard to release it to Him. I felt I should be doing more to become noticed. When I finally stopped trying to get speaking engagements, I started getting invitations. Oddly enough, none of those invitations came from any of the churches I had contacted.
God knew which doors were the RIGHT doors, and great things happened in those churches and venues! Talk about miracles—God opened doors that I would never have dared to knock on in the first place! But, if I hadn’t released my desires to Him, I would probably still be sending out emails and waiting.
Thirdly, and probably the hardest to deal with is the sudden stop! This one has been particularly hard for me. Ministry came to a grinding halt when Covid-19 came on the scene. I can no longer go into the jails and prisons to minister. All of my speaking engagements were cancelled starting with Fiji, and trickling down to the very last venue.
It is devastating. I can’t even pray for people in Walmart because of social distancing! It has been one of the hardest things to endure. When you are an evangelist, and you can’t evangelize, you feel as if the air has been sucked out of your lungs. So, I’ve had to wait for Covid to dissipate and hope that doors will open again.
But there is still joy in the journey. It has helped me to become more creative in the ways I minister. I have shared messages online. I have spoken on Facebook Live for church services, and Teen Challenge, and I’ve been interviewed multiple times for podcasts, and other shows.
AND, I’ve used this time to examine my own heart and draw closer to God. My time with the Holy Spirit has been so sweet, and has enriched my life in ways I didn’t think possible. As I have prayed in the Spirit, I have felt absolutely sure that whatever comes my way, God has got me. I don’t have to fear the future, and I can expect to hear His voice when I pray—such sweet communion.
It might not be my ideal way to minister, but unfortunately times have changed. Ultimately, God is in control, and I know as I continue to draw close to Him, He will continue to make a way for me. And He will continue to make a way for you as long as you trust Him with your journey!
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.