So I just finished a Mastermind that I run here, in my hometown every month. One of the gentlemen in the Mastermind has been working on growing his business for the last few years. He had a financial advisory niche of the market. Due to some setbacks in his life, he’s finding himself having to seek out employment. That’s something he hasn’t done for a long time. He hasn’t had a job for a long time. He’s been working on building his business. Of course, he’s wrestling with the emotions of going out and looking for a job, when all this time, he’s been focused on building his business.
One of the things that I encouraged him in, is that the struggle is part of the story, that it’s the struggle that builds our character. It refines our perseverance, and it becomes more of the story of our success. It’s part of what encourages others in the years to come.
Now, the thing that I really want to point out to this is, sometimes we need these detours to build in some new components to our life: maybe it’s some new relationships; maybe it’s some new backbone; maybe it’s some new skill sets.
One of the things that I was reminded of as I was talking to him was the Biblical account of Jacob, as he was working for Laban to win the hand of Rachel. He wanted to marry Rachel. As you’ll remember, he worked seven years and on his wedding night, he finds out he’s been the object of a bait and switch. Instead of Rachel, he gets Leah, her sister. So he could have given up. He could have gotten mad. He could have said, “You know what? I’m done with this.” But instead, what he did is, he worked yet another seven years to finally win the hand of Rachel, the one that he knew he was destined to marry, the one that he knew was the wife of promise.
The reason I bring this up is, the God dream that he’s given you, it’s worth the sacrifice. It’s worth the effort. For those of you that know my story, you know that part of that journey was losing everything, literally being homeless and having to live in a friend’s spare bedroom, with my family, for nearly two years. That was part of the journey. Part of the journey was answering a craigslist ad to pick up garbage out of a lot, just so I could feed our family. That’s part of the journey. That’s part of the story.
So often, people see your success and they see your victories. They want what you have, but what they don’t want is, they don’t want the challenge of the journey. Never regret the challenge of the journey. Never regret the hard decisions. Never regret the places that you had to sacrifice to bring the dream to reality. Because those are going to be the things in the days to come that are the encouragement to others. Those are going to be the building blocks of your character, the formation of your character and of your resolve. Those are going to be the places where you learn to handle the abundance that God wants to put in your hands at a later time.
So all of those things come through difficulty, through heat, through pressure. You know, the greatest tools of refinement are heat and pressure.
So let me leave you with those thoughts today. The question, of course, is what sacrifices are you willing to make to see the dream come to reality? At the same time, let me encourage you, never be afraid to share your humble beginnings. Never be afraid to share your challenges. Those are the things that make you more real. Those are the things that make your story so much more personal to the world around you.
Anyway, just a few thoughts for you. Have an amazing Tuesday, and I’ll talk to you again soon.