I’m back! And may I just say *ahem*
I have to admit though, that I was a NaNoWriMo Rebel. That means I bent the rules. Instead of one 50,000 word novel. I wrote a series of short stories. And to be even more rebellious, I jumped from story to story. Two of the stories aren’t finished. The other two are, but one of them is pure rubbish. But the other one…oh this one story…is ready to be edited and…dare I say it…submitted to publishers. I’m excited about it.
Paul said that he planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6). The Corinthians missed it. They fought about who they followed: Paul or Apollos. But mere men don’t matter. The planter and the waterer don’t matter. God matters. Only God can make things grow, like your faith, ministry, and the seeds you planted.
I didn’t get that for a long time. I felt like a failure when my friends refused to go to church. I felt useless when I was unable to implement an idea in the ministry. I felt like a lesser Christian when I didn’t pray as long or read as many Bible chapters as others.
Some stories just don’t come together. Not yet anyway. That’s why writers have idea files and draft files because we get story ideas that don’t take off past the premise we wrote on a piece of Starbucks napkin. But then, down the road, that same premise is ready to be written. Suddenly, that idea we stored away is ripe and bursting.
Sometimes people, ministry ideas, or something in our faith journey are premises on napkins. They’re not ready. They’re not ripe. It doesn’t mean we failed. It doesn’t meant we’re useless. It doesn’t mean we’re lesser Christians. It means we need to trust God to do His thing. We planted the seed. We watered the plant. Now we wait. We plant more seeds. Water more plants. And wait some more.
And while waiting we can be confident that God will finish the good work He started in us (Philippians 1:6). Which means, our God is faithful. If He called you into a ministry, but you’re struggling or you’re not seeing any fruits, don’t give up. Keep doing what God called you to do (keep planting and watering) and He will finish that good work. If you feel like you’re failing in your faith, don’t give up. Persevere and you will pass this season of struggle. And God will finish that good work. If God gave you a dream, but you just can’t reach it or it seems impossible. Keep dreaming. Nothing is impossible to our God.
The dream will come true. Your faith will grow. The ministry will bear fruits. But just as stories don’t always turn out the way we initially thought they would when we first start writing, these dreams, ministries, and faith journeys may not always look like how we thought they would. The dream may become reality in ways you didn’t imagine. The ministry may bear fruits you didn’t think it could produce. Your faith may grow through paths you didn’t want to take. And it’s all okay. Better than okay because God’s plans for us are better than our own plans. And they will come to pass according to God’s perfect timeline, not ours.
So trust that God will make things grow. Trust that God will finish the good work He started in you. Don’t give up on your faith or ministry or dream or ideas or stories. They may burst tomorrow or they may be waiting in storage. Either way, you’re not a failure. Trust God and you’re a winner already!