My husband and I decided to spend a quiet day at the beach on Sunday after church. We walked down Main Street, ate lunch and then headed to the pier and sat down on a bench overlooking the ocean. We were spending some much needed alone time, watching the surfers, talking and just hanging out. A team of street dancers walked up and told everyone who was sitting around to please hang out because they would be performing shortly.
We both love watching any type of dance...but especially street dancing (it takes us back to the 80's, you know OLD SCHOOL). They began their preparation to perform. They stretched, did hand stands to strengthen their arms, several hard balancing moves, more stretches and then put on protective padding. This continued for about 30 minutes. We could tell that they were very talented as one of them ran up the side of a pole and did a back flip off of it.
The crowd was becoming restless with anticipation. Finally they were ready to perform. A lifeguard pulled up at the exact moment they were going to start and asked them for their permit to perform. They didn't have one...they scrambled around nervously for a while, but...it was over. We all walked away feeling let down. Sitting their waiting through all of their preparation for NOTHING!
Do you think God sometimes feels the same way? He begins to shape and mold us, using the hard times in our life to help us grow. Years and years of preparation. Getting us ready for all the blessings He intends for us. He waits patiently, day by day, trial by trial, as we slowly began to take shape. Finally when we're almost there...we become discouraged and quit. We feel that we don't have a permit to perform the way that God wants us to. We don't feel qualified. We are fearful and forget that he has been stretching us through hard times, strengthening us through his word and supplying us with protective padding through prayer and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Don't stop before you achieve your ultimate purpose! He is waiting with loving anticipation...for us to be stretched enough to be able to display our GIFTS to the world.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." Psalm 143:8, 10