Jesus prepared 30 years for a ministry of 3 years.
Often times we feel as if we must walk into our ministry, our calling, our purpose right away. Right now. In this moment. I honestly don’t feel that’s how God intended it to be.
The trials and tribulations we go through are for a reason. I feel like if we’ve never been broken, how will we really understand the power of God’s healing & the freedom it brings to overcome? There’s always something to learn in the bad and it usually becomes good. The things we overcome are but a testimony to the trials we faced.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen God turn something wrong I did into something so beautiful.
I was a 19 year old kid who had just graduated high school when I signed my life away to the Marine Corps. I talked to a recruiter the day after I turned 19 and signed my life away (5 years of it, at least) to the government. Three weeks later, my cousin, my best friend, and myself all left for Parris Island, South Carolina for 13 weeks of the hardest time of my life.
Hurricane Katrina had just hit the south and my mom had lost her job due to the effects the storm had on the south. When I arrived at boot camp on November 7, 2005, I felt as if I had abandoned my mom and little sister in their time of trial. I felt as if I had rushed a decision that required more thought than I had given it. Skip forward to 3 1/2 years of beating myself up over that decision, of constant regret, constant complaining, to a time where I finally became content with the decision I made back in 2005.
It’s funny how God uses us when we least expect it. About a year and a half before I left the Marines, I was sleeping one night when I heard some loud music and commotion. I was pissed. I stormed out of my room, knocked on my neighbors door (a fellow Marine) and told him to shut up, I was trying to sleep. Then I wake up that next morning and felt like a complete jerk. I apologized. We became best friends and started attending the same church and bible study. Then we deploy to Iraq together and our friendship gets strengthened. Before we left, we had invited many other fellow Marines to our bible study who later gave their life to the Lord or rededicated it to Him. Two of them even got baptized in a pool on base in Iraq.
I feel like those turn of events all came from a point where I became content with my decision. I stopped complaining about where I was (temporarily) and focused on my now. I stopped thinking about where I could be and focused on where God had placed me. I don’t credit their salivations to myself, but I credit God for using me to possibly facilitate what He had already planned.
We often feel like we have to “accomplish” our calling right away when we can live in our calling at any given moment in life. Seek those opportunities to live in your calling in the day to day. Do not worry about the future, for it is already planned.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah 1:5