Before there was a spot right next to the Pharaoh in the palace to help rule the land for Joseph, there was a spot right next to thieves and murderers for him in a prison cell for many years.
Before there was a crown on his head and a kingdom to lead for David, there was a staff in his hand and sheep to lead for many days.
Before there was a promise kept and the long awaited baby boy in the arms of Abraham, there were many years of faithfully serving God and trusting God’s timing for His purpose to be fulfilled.
Before there was an open tomb and a resurrection for Jesus, there was a cross to carry and the sins of the world to bear.
If there is anything that I learned in my (somewhat short) life through God’s Word and personal experience it’s this:
The most painful suffering precedes the most enduring strength.
The hardest battles precede the greatest victories.
The sleepless nights, the many tears and hours spend on your knees precedes answered prayers.
The darkest night precedes the brightest day.
Often times when God wants to strengthen us, to develop us, to help us become more like Him He leads us to the only place He knows we will learn life’s greatest lessons, it’s not in a church or in a classroom but in the desert, in the valley, and in the battlefield.
And it is in the desert, just like the Israelites, that we will learn to follow Him and trust His way to lead us to the Promised Land.
It is in the prison cell, just like Joseph that we learn to remain faithful to Him and trust Him to open up doors that hold us captive and set us free to fulfill the dream He has placed in our heart.
It is in the fields of sheep, just like David was in that we are drawn away from people and we become intimate with Christ and serve Him in the background by shepherding sheep and learning to fight the bears and the lions that we learn to rely on God to fight for us and do things we can never do without His help.
It is during the waiting seasons of life, just like Abraham, that we learn to trust in God’s timing and in His power to fulfill even what seems to be the most impossible of promises.
Today, if you find yourself in any of these places today I just want to remind you that it’s not the end yet.
There is still so much to your story left.
You haven’t reached the finished line.
This season may be hard.
It may be difficult to bear.
But it’s God’s training ground for the purpose He has for your life.
It may not seem like it but it’s a gift to you.
A gift of opportunity.
Opportunity to trust Him against all odds.
Opportunity to draw closer to Him.
Opportunity to keep running the race with endurance even when you want to stop.
Opportunity for the trials, the testing, the pain, and the brokenness to help you become more like Him.
We all have desert seasons in our life.
Times when the battle is hard and the future is uncertain.
But never forget what lies ahead: the Promised Land.
You might not see it yet, but you can believe that it’s there.
So keep on fighting, keep on running, keep on trusting God with each new day.
And allow Him to transform you, to strengthen, and to lead you closer to your Promised Land.
Be blessed and walk strong in Him!- Anna…♥
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4