What do Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, and William H. Harrison all have in common?
Apart from all being American Presidents at some stage, they have been the three oldest American Presidents at the time of inauguration. Harrison was 68 years, Reagan 69 years and Trump, 70 years old.
Some may think that by the time you reach 70 you have ‘past it’, are ‘too old’, ‘too tired’, or ‘too out-dated’. I am sure these men did not think that, yet at some point in their life they might have wondered, ‘Where is my life leading to? What are the lessons I am learning mean? I feel like I am born for greatness, yet I am not seeing anything yet.’
Learning from the Bible greats
We can learn a lot from the great men and women of the bible too.
Joseph was 17 when he was first given the dream of his family bowing down to him. Yet the dream did not come to pass until 22 years later (Genesis chapter 42). Joseph had many years of preparation, which included being a slave and being thrown into prison.
Sarah and Abraham were promised a child, and yet this did not happen until 25 years after God first called Abraham and gave him the promise (Genesis chapter 12).
Noah was told to build an ark to prepare for the coming flood, yet it was many years later that the first drop of rain fell from the sky. Some commentaries suggest the time from the start of the building of the ark to when the rains fell was between 55 to 75 years (answeringgenesis.com). Noah was 600 years old by the time the promise of the coming flood was fulfilled (Genesis chapter 7).
The preparation years
I like to think of the years leading up to a God-given promise as the ‘preparation years.’ This may only be a couple of years for some people, or an entire lifetime for others. What is important is that we trust God during the preparation years.
Preparation is defined as: the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.
Some synonyms of prepare include make ready, get ready, put together, arrange, develop, assemble, construct.
I very much feel like I am in the preparation years and I am learning to trust God in the process and in his timing. At times, it can feel like nothing is happening, that there is no progress or growth. Yet we do not know the extent of what God is doing and how he will use everything we go through for good.
The preparation years may be years when God is pruning things off our lives that he knows will only hold us back in the future.
He may use this time to heal wounds that have been deeply embedded and he wants us free from the hurt and emotional pain.
He may use the circumstances we find ourselves in to cultivate a deeper trust and faith life in us, so we lean on him and look to him rather than to the world.
He may use these years to grow our character and godly integrity, so we can become mature men and women of God.
The future awaits
So, the next time you feel like you’ve ‘missed the boat’, or wondering what on earth is happening, or why am I going through this!?
Find peace in the fact God does not waste a thing and he is using it for your good. He is preparing you for whatever wonderful thing he has in store for you. He is moulding you and shaping you into the person he created you to be.
May we learn to trust him with our whole being. May we learn to trust him during the process.
Jo Fuller lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband, son and daughter. Jo is a teacher with an education in journalism and early childhood who loves to spend time with her family and enjoys reading and writing whenever she can.