Process: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. As I settled in to write, once again God reminded me of Joshua. After the death of Moses, Joshua faced an enormous process as he set out to conquer the promised land God had given the Israelites. God did unimaginable things for Joshua because of his obedience:
- Joshua 3 – the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River.
- Joshua 6 – the battle at Jericho.
- Joshua 10 – the sun stood still.
All of these miracles came because opposition stood between him and the promise land. Despite the miracles, as he went to battle day after day, did he wondered if the process was worth the promise or if it was ever going to lead him to the promise.
In my own life, I often find myself wondering the same things. What I’ve noticed about most of us, myself included, is we want what God has spoken to our hearts, but we want it now. We want it easy, like a microwave dinner. When things aren’t working out quickly or the way we believe they should, we assume we’ve heard Him wrong or we’re being punished for something. Can I tell you, God doesn’t allow trials in our lives to punish us but rather to propel us toward the promise.
When I first discerned the call to the young adult ministry, God opened a door to teach a small group of around 6 people at the church I was attending. Certain God was going to grow the group significantly, to my surprise, God instead told us to change churches and sit the bench, so to speak. I questioned time after time if I had heard Him correctly and if that’s what He wanted for me. In the process, we stayed faithful to His voice and moved churches. I taught once in the five months there, before God moved us again, this time to a new town. Long story short, we moved. We got involved and sat the bench for another six months before God opened the door for my husband and I to step into the young adult ministry at our church. I now realize God was growing, maturing, and teaching us how to handle the ministry He had for us. Sitting the bench for a year wasn’t my idea of moving toward what God had for me, but he needed to prepare me to handle it.
James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So,don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (The Message)
What would life had looked like for the Israelites had Joshua given up in the process? What would my life and yours look like if we decided the process wasn’t worth it? There’s a process to your promise, but don’t allow the process to rob you of your progress. God is working in your battles and pauses.Trust him, trust his timing, and trust his promise for your life.