When I first started working with kids, my goal was to teach them new skills and valuable life lessons through curated experiences. I never expected them to be the teachers and me to be the student.
Last week, I was playing the classic game, Operation, with two beautiful four-year-old twin girls who have completely different personalities. Lexi is super outgoing and adventurous, and Juliette is introverted and guarded.
Whenever it was Lexi's turn to play, she shouted, "I'm gonna get it, I'm gonna get it," and then she carefully attempted to take out the pieces. She didn't always get the pieces out without buzzing but shouting "I'm gonna get it" motivated her to keep trying.
When it was Juliette's turn to play, she would put her head down and say, "I'm not going to get any pieces." And without any hesitation, Lexi would encourage her by singing, "You can do it, you can do it!"
It was the cutest thing. And you know what? She did do it.
Playing with the two of them was the highlight of my day. The girls taught me the importance of encouraging one another and having an "I'm gonna get it" attitude.
I remember hearing this story last year about three trees that had big dreams for the future.
Tree number 1 dreamed of being made into a huge table so that kings could eat and gather together around it.
Tree number 2 dreamed of being made into a giant ship that would transport prestigious people all over the world.
Tree number 3 dreamed of being one of the tallest trees on the hill so that everyone who looked up at it would see how amazing God is.
Years went by, and tree number 1 was cut down. Instead of being made into a huge table, tree number 1 was made into a trough—an open container for animals to eat and drink out of—and placed in a stable.
One evening, a young pregnant lady and her fiancé came to the stable because they needed a place to stay. She gave birth to a son there and placed him in the trough.
Tree number 1 knew there was something special about the child, and It wasn't long before it realized that its dream was fulfilled. You see, the child that was placed in the trough was Jesus, the King of Kings.
Tree number 2 was cut down next. And instead of being made into a giant ship, it was made into a boat that was barely used.
One day, a man and twelve of his friends used the boat to cross a lake. While they were on the boat, there was a huge storm that caused the man's friends to fear for their lives. The man, who was the leader of the group, got up and said, "Peace be still," and the storm stopped immediately.
When this happened, Tree number 2 instantly realized that its dream was fulfilled—it was transporting the most prestigious person to ever live, Jesus Christ.
Tree number 3 was the last standing. Instead of growing to be the tallest tree, it was cut down and thrown in a wood lot. It was the only tree whose dream didn't seem to come true.
A few years went by, and tree number 3 was taken from the lot and used to make a cross to crucify the Son of God. The cross will forever remind us of how awesome God is.
Tree number 3's dream did come true after all.
There are times when you may feel like the dream God has given you is dead because it hasn't come true. Your dream isn't dead, it just might not be realized yet.
You might dream of being a successful entrepreneur, and God sends you a job that barely even pays the bills. You think to yourself, "This can't be right. I’ve been working my butt off to be financially independent, not to live paycheck to paycheck." And what you don't realize is that God is taking you through a process and making provisions that you can't see.
God gave Abraham and Sarah a promise. He told them that they were going to have a son and kings of nations will be among their descendants. As the story goes, Sarah took matters into her own hands because she didn't trust God to give her a child in her old age. But, He did, and his name was Isaac.
Many people look at Ishmael, the son Abraham had with Sarah's handmaiden, as a mistake. Yes, Abraham and Sarah might have made a mistake, but Ishmael wasn't a mistake—God had a plan for him.
Years later, God used the Ishmaelites to bring a dream to life that He gave Joseph. When his brothers threw him into a pit, the Ishmaelites purchased him and brought him to Egypt (Genesis 37:27-28).
Joseph eventually became the ruler of Egypt, and every part of his journey (and the people who participated in it) was important to fulfill God's purposes.
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."
- Ecclesiastes 3:1
If you're anything like me, there are times when you're like Lexi—fired up and ready to take on the challenges of life—and times when you're like Juliette and need a little encouragement.
Whatever your current mood is, keep trusting God. He will bring whatever desires He's placed in your heart to pass in His way, in His timing, and for His purposes.
Your dream is for an appointed time. Wait for it.
And in the meantime, live your life with an "I'm gonna get it" attitude. Because as long as you’re delighting yourself in the Lord, you will get it—just like the trees eventually did in the story.
What's one thing that you took away from today's message that you can apply to your life? I'd love to hear from you. Head on over to the discussions page with your questions, stories, and comments. I look forward to chatting with you :).
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You were born to do great things. I believe in you.