The Season Of The Shelf

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 WEB.

When I was about twenty years old, the Lord told me through a pastor that He had chosen me for ministry. That I was to begin preparing myself. I already knew this in my heart. The pastor's word was a confirmation of what God had already put inside me. Later, while visiting a different church, another minister said the same thing, "Prepare yourself for ministry." This happened several times.

I began to attend Bible college, earned a degree, got ordained, read the Bible cover to cover a few times, and felt ready for ministry. Then I waited for Him to open the next door' Meanwhile, I played in bands, built houses, and was a mechanic for a while. Then I spent about twenty years working on computers. Eventually, I no longer thought about being in ministry at all. I figured I probably had one sin too many, or more like several tons.

Then the proper season came, and the Lord herded me into ministry like cattle into a stall. A complete career change came in less than a week. I was forty-five when I suddenly found myself as a pastor. It turns out that I needed seasoning. I certainly had the zeal, but I had no depth or roots. I knew far too much about the traditions of men and too little about walking with God daily.

Also, His preparation wasn't what I assumed it would be. The things I learned while working on computer networks and programming prepared me to build an online church for Him. My time in music has taught me to write and record songs for Him. I use the skills I learned from construction and working as a mechanic here every week to maintain what He has entrusted us. The Lord is extremely efficient, and I couldn't do what we do today without first having been there.

So don't give up when you feel like He has put you on the shelf. You are being seasoned and made ready. Also, the fruit has to ripen before He sends you. What God has promised, He will bring to pass. When the proper season comes, He will fulfill His word to you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, here I am, send me! I will go where you want me to go, work where you want me to work, and say what you give me to say. Use me, Lord. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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