Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.
For most people, waiting isn't fun. Not only does it try our patience, it can cause stress and strain unlike anything else. But have you ever thought about what benefits seasons of waiting might bring us?
Today, I'd like to welcome guest blogger Erica Morrison from Passionfruitful Life! She's sharing with us 4 blessings that seasons of waiting can bring us.
Waiting for your dreams to unfurl? - by Erica Morrison
So, perhaps you have some great ideas and dreams for your life. You are excited about the possibilities, and you've even begun to take some baby steps, or even big steps, in that direction. You take a few more baby steps and wait patiently. Surely your dreams are around the corner. Excitedly, you round the corner and...nothing seems to happen. So, with a tiny bit of doubt but still a lot of hope, you try something else...and still, those dreams don't seem to be anywhere close.
After some more tries and some discouraged feelings, you might wonder what you're doing wrong and why you have to wait so long. You feel ready now!You may have heard a story about a little boy who was watching a butterfly struggle to get out of its cocoon. The boy wanted to help the butterfly get out, so he got a pair of scissors and cut a slit in the cocoon so that the butterfly could easily get out. The butterfly did get out quickly, but unfortunately, it flopped to the ground and wasn't able to unfurl its wings and fly.
The fact is that the patient wait and struggle to get out of the cocoon would have helped the butterfly to strengthen its wings and therefore fly once it got out. (Adapted from a story in Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman.)
You might be tempted to fly into the things you believe God is calling you to. But for now, this time of waiting and active struggle is for a purpose. It's strengthening you - your patience and character, your contentment, your faith, and your skills and abilities. One day, in perfect timing, you'll be ready and have the strength to "leave the cocoon" and begin to unfurl your wings and fly.
Let's go more deeply into why God allows us to wait and some suggestions of what to do while we are waiting.
Waiting grows our patience and character and makes us more ready for our dreams.
We may think we are ready now...or maybe even yesterday, but God might think otherwise. He wants to mature us and build our perseverance and character so we will be better able to handle our dreams when they do come around. Even when the little seeds we plant (our baby steps toward our dreams) don't seem to be growing, like a farmer, we need to just keep planting and tending our seeds. In time, with plenty of water and good soil, those seeds are going to begin to sprout...and slowly grow into mature dreams. Our lovely field of dreams is coming, but we need to keep persevering and not give up.
We need to learn to enjoy life and all the good things in our lives now as we wait for our dreams to unfurl.
It's so easy to focus on the future and miss enjoyment of the wonders of our current moments - for example, the people in our lives, nature in the changing seasons, and the opportunities we have now. It's easy to notice these good things only briefly and then hurry on to whatever urgent things we can do to meet our goals. But even when we do reach our goals, there will always be more goals to look forward to - as well as new struggles - so it's important to enjoy our time now and not miss out on our current life and all its delights.
Waiting can build our faith.
It's so easy to get discouraged and give up when we thought our dreams were just over the horizon and they weren't there yet...nor were they over the next one. But "believing without seeing" is such an important quality to develop.
God loves for us to build our faith; it shows that we trust that He will come through on His promises even when we can't seem to see a hint of them. And He loves to eventually reward that faith.
When our dreams don't come easily, it can stretch us to consider new options, try new strategies, and build new skills.
We may have new ideas that will turn out to be better than what we originally planned, or we might be challenged to do some of the things we were a bit skittish about doing before.
On the other hand, we do need to be careful and prayerful about our steps so that we do not try to make our dreams happen in unwise ways (which don't work well, anyway) rather than doing the things God does want us to do. It's wise to slowly step out in the direction you think God is leading you and make sure it's really the direction He wants you to go. You can then prayerfully look at the results and then decide whether or not you should continue.
So in these moments of waiting and struggle, just keep praying, asking God what He wants you to learn at this time, taking those little steps as you grow in your patience, faith, and skills. One day, your strong butterfly wings will beautify the sky with your gifts and dreams, and we'll all benefit from the way you've grown and unfurled during your wait.
Your turn: What else can we do during our wait for our dreams to come to pass? Any other reasons you can think of why we might experience a time of waiting? Share with us in the comments!
Erica Morrison lives in Ontario, Canada with her rambunctious almost-2-year-old and husband (yes, he's quite rambunctious, too). She is a Christ-follower seeking to live a life of passion and fruitfulness and wants to help others do the same. She loves to travel (when she can afford it) as well as learn about the many cultures right here at home.
Erica recently became a certified professional life coach and is loving the opportunity to help women move closer to their dreams in life, career and parenting. She blogs at Passionfruitful Life, and you can find her on Facebook here!