Sometimes God works on a dream with immediacy. Other times, we face roadblocks. Look at Nehemiah. He had one of the most important jobs as cupbearer to the king, yet was so boldly impassioned with a dream to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem that the king allowed him to leave his job to rebuild that wall.
In Nehemiah’s case, God not only gave Nehemiah favor to leave his job, but also gave him wisdom to ask for the supplies and protection he would need to get the job done. Even with opposition, even when half the crew continued building while the other half stood guard, Nehemiah and the people rebuilt an entire city wall in fifty-two days.
Maybe you’re asking yourself why God would help Nehemiah so quickly… and why He would take so long to help you? Why doesn’t God give you fifty-two days off work plus supplies to focus on your dream or move mountains to bring your God-sized dream to fruition?
Here’s the thing we have to remember. N0 God-sized Dream is more significant than another. Not the quickly-accomplished Nehemiah dream, and not the why-is-it-taking-so-long dream that you have. And neither one has less importance to God.
Many dreams – including mine – seem less like Nehemiah’s and more like a 40-year Moses-led trek through the desert. A little progress here, a step forward there, mix in some wailing and complaining, with small manna-and-dove miracles along the way to encourage you to keep following… keep going… despite the roadblocks.
And there will be roadblocks.
My roadblocks look a little different than Nehemiah’s did. There were no threats of war or conspiracies in my dream like Nehemiah had. When I was a kid I dreamed of writing children’s stories and teaching English. Then I hit a roadblock when a guidance counselor recommended engineering “because teacher’s don’t make any money.” At the time, I lacked the confidence to stand up for my dream. It became what I call a “shoebox dream,” meaning that I tucked it on the closet shelf of my life behind the blankets and mementos. Meanwhile, I chose the career that everyone else suggested and life happened.
I would get married. Switch jobs. Earn three collegiate degrees. Relocate to the South. Build a house. Become a mom to twins. Lose three jobs to layoffs and plant closures. Open two businesses that I worked in addition to engineering. Annnd move eleven times (I like to think of it as our own personal witness protection program).
But I have learned to recognize the roadblocks for what they are: the actual path.
You see, while I was doing all of those wonderful things – moving, and building, and momming – I noticed the manna. I’ve seen the doves, and they’ve kept me going. One morning ten years ago, I realized I’d left my twin infants’ milk on the counter at home. A half hour into my hour-long commute, I turned back to get it. That “mistake” made my commute two hours long, allowing me the chance to listen to a radio show I never listened to, and connected me to a Christian author and his editor. That first dove-in-the-wilderness rekindled my shoebox dream from years ago as I realized my God-sized Dream would not rest until I pursued it.
As for my other roadblocks? That engineering degree, while not what I originally intended, has provided for my family during times of layoffs and slow periods in the economy. It’s also paid for conferences, website costs, and author expenses.
The “part-time business” became the training ground I would need to begin speaking publicly, and built my confidence, as well as my strength in the Lord. Through it, I was able to encourage thousands of women to seek the Lord in their businesses as well.
And through the “witness protection program,” I can look back now – even if a move was painful at the time – and see how God introduced me to people, taught me life lessons, or brought me closer to Him in the process.
In a nutshell? My roadblocks were never roadblocks at all. They’ve been the path all along, winding and weaving as I picked up things I would need along the way.
Let me encourage you… Your roadblock? It may not be a roadblock or detour. It may just BE the path he purposefully takes you on, to accomplish the Dream He has IN you.
Look for the manna. Praise Him for the doves. And keep going on the beautiful, perfect path He has designed for you.
Shared by: Karen Sipps