A while back I was sitting in the office with my counselor, lamenting a relationship I was in that wasn’t going so well. My counselor told me maybe what I wanted was a microwave—something that would heat things up quickly—but God wanted to give me an acorn instead. Not exactly a one-for-one analogy, but he explained the acorn was better because it’s hard to knock down once it grows into a big, strong tree. In other words: good things take time.
Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of time. Currently, I find myself in the familiar position of needing to find a “real” job soon. I’m reluctant to let go of the freedom I’ve had to start building my business. It’s difficult to be an unknown artist; I haven’t gotten the results I’d hoped for.
I may not be an eternal optimist, but I rarely give up hope. Living this way can be crushing, but it also pulls me back into a childlike mindset of anticipation. The problem with hope is that it’s fleeting. It’s this ephemeral, intangible thing. We try to grasp it and hold on, but it slips out of our hands. The Bible says “…hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:25)
Patiently? Has Paul even met humans? The passage goes on to explain that the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak, even interceding for us when we don’t know what to pray. And then a couple of verses later come the famous words, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” So, what do we do in the meantime when we are waiting on something and not seeing results?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve still got a bit of a childish attitude at times. When things don’t go my way as quickly as I’d like, I tend to give up on them. Yet, I’ve found God continues to work in me to “will and to do” when it comes to His plans for my life. I don’t want to give up the business I’ve started, and I continue to write these posts every week not knowing the effect they may be having. I’m finding the answer may lie in trying a variety of things. Eventually, something will click, and people will tell you they want more. This isn’t so we can make a name for ourselves—it’s so we can serve. The more people we serve, the more we make the gospel of Christ known, and that’s the whole point.
I’m likely to offend some people with what I say next, but I’m willing to take the risk. I’ve often heard it said that the work we’re doing is for “an audience of One.” The thought here is we should continue doing the work regardless of any praise we do or do not receive—because it’s for God. But here’s the thing. If you’re trying to live out the calling God gave you and use your gifts to expand the reach of the gospel, an audience of one isn’t going to cut it. God is well-acquainted with Himself already; He doesn’t need convincing. He wants us to spread the gospel, and we should be making all efforts to do that. If there’s something you enjoy doing that draws you closer to the Father as you do it, then, by all means, keep at it! As in any relationship, there should be some aspects of it that are just between the two of you. But when the call is to share, we may need to switch up our tactics.
If you are firmly convinced you have a message God wants you to share, search for the proper vehicle like treasure.
If what you’re doing isn’t connecting with people like you’d hoped, try a different topic or a different medium. Stick with what you know and enjoy but come at it from a different angle. If you are firmly convinced you have a message God wants you to share, search for the proper vehicle like treasure.
So, I urge you to stick with it, whatever “it” happens to be. Don’t expect immediate results, but don’t grow stagnant either. Keep honing those gifts and skills God gave you until you see fruit, for “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) Amen. Plant that acorn, water it, figure out exactly how much sunlight it needs—and watch it grow into a strong oak tree.