Ezekiel 3:22 The hand of the Lord was upon me there, and He said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.”
Have you ever heard of anyone being greatly used by Christ who did not experience a special time of waiting, or a complete upset of his plans at first? From the apostle Paul’s being sent into the Arabian wilderness for three years – during which time he must have been overflowing with the Good News – down to the present day, it seems those who will be used will have a time of waiting. Have you been looking forward to telling about trusting Jesus, but instead He is asking you to show what trust is, by waiting?
My own experience is far less severe than Paul’s but reveals the same principle. Once when I thought the door was being thrown open for me to enter the literary field with a great opportunity, it was just as quickly shut. My doctor stepped in and simply said, “Never! You must choose between writing and living, for you cannot do both.” The year was 1860, and I did not come out of my shell of isolation with my book Ministry of Song until 1869. By then I saw the distinct wisdom of having been kept waiting for nine years in the shade.
God’s love is unchangeable, and He is just as loving even when we do not see or feel it. And His love and His sovereignty are equal and universal. Therefore He often withholds our enjoyment and awareness of our progress, because He knows best what will actually ripen and further His work in us. Francis Ridley Havergal