Many years ago, a lady walked up to me in church, looked me in the eye, and said: “God is working in the heavenlies on your behalf.” The implication of her message was to reassure me that there are things going on that I was not aware of and not to be discouraged.
If we could take a look behind the veil, we would see that there are things happening in the heavenlies. Still, we don’t always get that “look” and God reminds us occasionally that there are things in progress and that we may not always have all the dots, as a friend of mine would say.
Indeed, the steps of a righteous man are ordered by God, but He doesn’t always show us what’s around the next corner. He often gives us one step at a time.
Sometimes, the seeming delay is to work out something in us. Other times, it’s working out things with someone else, or preparing another situation for our arrival or getting all the ducks lined up.
Take Daniel. He prayed to God, but God didn’t immediately answer. Take a moment to read Daniel 10:11-13 below.
“He said to me, “O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.“
Twenty-one days! God was taking care of business, and He had sent the answer. But the messenger was delayed by another situation. Did Daniel give up and quit? Did he become discouraged and turn his back on God? No, he kept fighting, kept waiting, kept pressing on!
Don’t stop believing if you’ve asked God for something and it hasn’t come to pass. Don’t give up, just shake your head and throw in the towel. Don’t stop doing the things that will nurture and cultivate that dream, hope or prayer. You must remember: God is working in the heavenlies on your behalf. Sometimes, your answer will come in the 11th hour.
Consider the lesson of the Chinese bamboo tree as a source of encouragement. When you plant the Chinese bamboo, nothing happens (or so it seems) for four years! No sign of life. No indication of growth. No leaves, no spouts. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. For four years, you have no idea whether the seed you planted will actually come to fruition. For four years, you wait, water, hope, believe…and wait.
Then, in year five, boom, there it is! Suddenly, it shoots through the ground and can grow as high as 90 feet in six weeks!
What would have happened if you had not continued to water and nurture that seed? What would have happened if you’d given up during those four years?
Your dream, hope and prayer follow the same pattern. You may not see any fruit or any progress, but you must realize that God is working in the heavenlies on your behalf! You must continue to nurture, wait, water, hope and believe.
Faith is believing in what you don’t see, what you can’t see. Faith, though, is also knowing in your knower as my dad would say that the seed you planted will one day come to harvest.
Don’t give up on the seed. Don’t stop sowing, planting, and watering. God is working in the heavenlies on your behalf and He will continue to work as you continue to wait in confidence and hope.
What are you waiting for? An answer to prayer? The right timing for the dream? Your ship to come in? Keep believing, you don’t know whether your Chinese bamboo tree is in Year 1, 2, 3, or 4. Or perhaps just days away from Year 5. It simply comes down to persistence, continually doing what you know is right and what you know will bring you to your final victory.
“There is no substitute for persistence. The person who makes persistence his watch-word, discovers that “Old Man Failure” finally becomes tired, and makes his departure. Failure cannot cope with persistence.” ~Napoleon Hill.
There are things happening that you can’t see now. Water your Chinese bamboo tree and watch the explosive growth burst into your life right before your very eyes.
Indeed, God is at work in the heavenlies. On your behalf!