As a former 3rd grade teacher, my job was to prepare my students to be successful for the 4th grade. I wasn’t trying to prepare them for the 9th grade. Imagine what life would be like for a 9 year-old if they skipped 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and entered high school after the 3rd grade? This is what that little kid would face if they skipped 5 years of learning:
- Learning concepts that are beyond their brain development,
- Their lack of experience and maturity make their sudden independence and responsibility overwhelming,
- Homework beyond their capability, and
- Emotional struggles and issues of teenagers.
This unprepared student would ultimately flounder and fail.
Even though my students were excited to eventually be in high school, they had learning, training, and things to experience before they were ready and could be successful in high school.
And so it is with visionaries. Visionaries are action takers and often times struggle with patience. We have a clear vision of the future life we are trying to create, and we want that life now! We want to be in a job that excites us, has purpose, now. We want that husband and family, now! We want to have that thin, healthy body, now! We want that job promotion, now! We want our book edited, published, and promoted, now.
It all goes back to the whole “God’s timing” and not “our timing” issue. Often times we think we are ready for what we are asking God. We want to skip 4-8th grades and be in high school!
So if you are frustrated because you aren’t where you want to be in your vision and you just want to skip ahead, I want to share with you what I think about that helps me be at peace at where I am in the journey toward my vision.
I remind myself of the experiences of the Israelites who were in the desert making their way to the Promised Land. During their pilgrimage, God had a cloud over their camp during the day, and at night the cloud became a pillar of fire.
This Cloud had many purposes. During the day it offered shelter from the desert sun, and the pillar of fire at night offered warmth from the cold desert nights. But this Cloud also is how God guided his people. When the Cloud moved, God commanded the Israelites to pack up, march and follow the Cloud. But when the Cloud remained over the camp, they were to stay.
Numbers 9:20-22 (MSG): If the Cloud stayed only from sunset to daybreak and then lifted at daybreak, they marched. Night or day, it made no difference-when the Cloud lifted, they marched. It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days, a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there… They camped at God’s command and marched at God’s command.
I imagine the Israelites wanted to get to the Promised Land ASAP, and wanted to move even if the cloud wasn’t moving. But they were obedient to God’s timing. Like it says in the above verses, sometimes the cloud would move in the middle of the night. Other times the cloud would stay in the same place for months. It was a lesson in discipline and trust and obedience to God. He eventually got his people to the land he promised them. But it was all on God’s schedule and God’s timing.
Do you feel like your cloud isn’t moving fast enough or it’s not moving at all? Are you tempted to run out from under the shelter of the cloud?
Remember these 5 facts about how God works:
- God is with you, He is hovering over you and is guiding you to your promised land- your vision. You aren’t alone out in your desert.
- Don’t move ahead of His cloud. There is training and experiences you need before He moves you to the next stop on the path to your vision.
- Just because your cloud isn’t moving, doesn’t mean you wait and do nothing. There is still work and learning for you to do while you are waiting for God to show you where to go next. What parts of your vision can you be developing or working on during your rest stop?
- If you move ahead before the cloud moves, you might move in the wrong direction. However, if you move the wrong way, rest assured God will get you back to where you need to go. You can’t mess it up!
- When His cloud moves, be obedient and make sure you follow! As you move into the unknown, God is still with you. The cloud may move down a path you weren’t expecting, but trust in God’s plan and keep moving forward.
Keep your eyes on the Cloud and trust that God WILL get you to your Promised Land! No skipping grades!
Katie and Julie- The Weather Girls!
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This article was written by Katie Black of Contemporary Christian Worldwide Academy (CCWA). Katie is passionate about helping Christians who are ready to challenge their status quo, teach them how to use their faith to create a personal life vision, develop the critical faith- mindset needed to pursue that vision AND craft their “make my dreams happen” roadmap. Her Live Your Vision™ system integrates biblical principles into an organized and structured process, complete with tools and strategies to help Christians stop settling in life and experience the abundant life God intends for them. To download your Free Vision Creation Kit, go to: www.WeAreCCWA.com.