Last week we talked about a couple of the reasons we experience delays in the fulfillment of our dreams. For those of you that have a memory like mine (can remember what I wore to the first day of kindergarten but can’t remember what I ate for dinner tonight) I will briefly review them.
The two reasons we looked at were both delays put in place by God. The first was for our own protection as he prepares us for the battles we will encounter on the road to our dreams. We read how God took the Israelites the long way out of Egypt because if they went the short way they would right away have to go up against the Philistines. God knew the Israelites would most likely run back to Egypt in the face of battle so He took them the longer way. They still had to face battles along the way but God had time to work with them and in them to prepare them.
The other delay we looked at was for practical reasons such as not having everything in place that needs to be in place for us to manage our dream once we get there. We saw this in the plan God had for the Israelites to conquer their enemies and take their land. He told them He would have them do it little by little because if they conquered all of their enemies at once the wild animals would multiple quicker than the Israelites and over take them. God had them take the land piece by piece as they grew in numbers and could fill the land.
When we read the account of the Israelites exodus it is easy to think “I can’t believe they grumbled, complained, and disobeyed as much as they did. God was totally taking care of them and had their best interest at heart.” It is easy for us to see the whole picture because it is recorded with the details and reasoning God had. It’s one thing to read an account and quite another to live it don’t you think?
These two delays were not the only delays the Israelites encountered on their way to the Promised Land. They had many perceived setbacks. As time went on they became increasingly disgruntled, disobedient, and eventually lost their faith. It says in Psalm 106:24-25 The people refused to enter the pleasant land for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.”
Those verses always make me feel so sad. After all they had been through together with God. After all of the miracles they had witnessed regarding Gods protection and provision, they still got to a place where they no longer believed God would bring them to the Promised Land. They literally sat in their tents refusing to move any further.
I myself became a tent dweller last year. After years of taking one step forward and two steps back in my writing I gave up. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to talk about it. I tried to tell myself that my days of writing and speaking were behind me, that they were just for a season and that season was over. I tried to find peace and satisfaction in my job, but I couldn’t. I enjoy my job, but I am not doing what makes me tick. What makes me tick is writing, speaking, and encouraging women to live life big. That’s hard to do when you find yourself living yours so small.
The more I tried to run from it, the more my discontentment grew. I complained a lot. I grumbled a lot. I found fault in others more. I tried not to do or be these things but the harder I tried, the more frustrated I got. I knew what my problem was but I didn’t have a solution. I knew I had lost faith in the dreams I once had. What I didn’t know was how to either get rid of the dreams, or restore my faith in them. Having nowhere to go, I stayed in the tent.
It’s not easy getting out of the tent. As miserable as I was in the tent, I was afraid to get out. I didn’t want to “get my hopes up” anymore. I just wanted to be content with where I was at. I finally realized that was never going to happen. I am not meant to live in a tent. Neither are you. We are created to walk by faith one step at a time in the direction we believe the Lord is calling us to. The rest is up to Him.
Are you sitting in your own tent of unbelief? How about you come out for a little fresh air with me as we take a step together? I would be happy to pray for you if you want to fill out a prayer request.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for loving me even on the days I refuse to get out of the tent. Please help me get out of the tent and take a step of faith. Thank you for restoring my faith. Thank you for the plans you have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Love, Grace, and No More Tents,