Expanding Takes Time
Molière once said, “Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” We live in a culture today were we can go to the store and “pick” just about any type of fruit we want. Everything from ugly fruit (it really does look U-G-L-Y!) to star fruit (which is REALLY good). Virtually any type of fruit that we want or crave we can get in an instant. No waiting for the seed to grow into a tree. No waiting for the tree to produce the produce, Fruit in an instant. What used to take years for us to obtain now only takes a few minute drive to the nearest grocery store or farm stand. While getting a fresh cantaloupe is quick and convenient, there is a downside to this process. I believe the faster we get something, the quicker we lose our ability for patience. Think about it for a moment. Back in the day when the internet was available for the home we had BLAZING speeds of up to 56kbps. And who could ever forget the infamous “You’ve got mail” every time you logged in! Now we have speeds that blow dial up out of the water. We just moved and had our internet installed and I have 100 Mbps. I went from horse and buggy speeds of 24Mbps to warp speed!
As the internet gets faster our patience gets slower. After being spoiled with something I can get in an instant to go to something slower would be terrible and I would become less patient. Unfortunately, this has crept into other areas of our lives. Even into our walk with God.
We now want things to happen in an instant. We have lost the art of patience. We want bigger ministries now. We want to be a leader over 100’s now. We want to be a pastor now. We want to do this or that NOW! While there are times where it seems God does allow us to do something NOW, I have found out that most things take time with God.
Take for instance a familiar passage of Scripture found in the book of Isaiah that most preachers use for growth either in the church or for growth and new opportunities in a person’s life.
“Enlarge the place of your tent;
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not;
Lengthen your cords
And strengthen your pegs.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left.
And your descendants will possess nations
And will resettle the desolate cities.” (NASB)
Talk to anyone who has been in the church for a good amount of time this passage of Scripture and they will shout! Praise the Lord my territory is going to expand! Blessings are coming! Expansion is coming!
But here is what I learned this past week about this Scripture. In those days, expansion of a tent didn’t happen overnight. Someone didn’t just wake up one day and say to themselves, “I think a nice living room would be a great addition to our home. Maybe even a two camel garage.”
Enlarging your tent was a process. It took time. In fact the process took at least a year.
Read this next part carefully and slowly:
“The usual procedure is to accumulate the goat clippings of a year or so, and with these make a new strip with which to repair the old tent…As the tent-dweller’s family grows larger, or as he becomes richer and wishes to enlarge his tent, he does so by simply adding another section to his old tent…” (source)
Could you imagine having to wait an entire year just to patch a hole in the tent let alone adding a new room? It took time and most importantly it took patience.
Here is the bottom line. If God is calling you to expansion, do not get frustrated if it doesn’t happen overnight or even within a year. As hard as it is you must remain patient. Like jumping off a plane before it lands can be dangerous, so can being impatient.