Dare to Be Prepared
by Charlotte Gambill
“Be prepared in season and out of season.”
2 Timothy 4:2
“Be prepared in season and out of season.” These famous words were spoken by the older, wiser Apostle Paul to his younger student Timothy. Timothy was called to lead God’s people, but before he could teach, train and build, he had to first show he was willing to do this by daring to prepare.
Preparation is an indication of what you are expecting. Show me a bride-to-be and I will show you her wedding magazines, her journal, fabric swatches and menu samples. Her expectation to marry has led her to prepare. Show me an expectant woman and you will find a prepared nursery, baby clothes and accessories. Why? Because preparation is the first sign of what you are daring to become.
This is why we must dare to prepare. We must commit to the process where we line up our lives with what our heart is pregnant with. We don’t see preparation as something scary or intimidating in the natural until we begin to apply it to the spiritual. No woman resents preparing for her baby because she sees the visible signs that the baby is on its way. Yet spiritually, there is often no advance spiritual ultrasound that shows what is on the way.
Just think about Noah who was asked to prepare a boat for a flood that would be caused by relentless rain. He had never seen a boat or flood or heard of rain. He had no ultrasound picture to inspire him; he just had to obey. As others passed by laughing at the seemingly crazy old man, God smiled at Noah’s willingness to dare to prepare. Or what about Sara who laughed at the very absurd thought of having a baby in her old age? She couldn’t even imagine what that would look like, and yet she had to dare to conceive the idea before she would ever conceive the child.
Many years ago, my husband and I were told by the doctors that we wouldn’t be able to have children. The doctors said medically it wasn’t something we should expect to happen. After my initial anger, frustration and shock at the devastating news, I remember crying yet more tears when the realization hit me: I was not improving this diagnosis one bit by my reaction. My actions were only feeding my disappointment and confusion. I had realized I had the power to choose differently. So I chose to stop dwelling on the bad news and focus on God’s good news for my future.
Steve and I decided that instead of giving up, we would dare to prepare our lives for a miracle. If we were going to believe God for a miracle, we had better start preparing a life that could incubate one. We changed our prayers of anguish into prayers of faith. Isaiah 54:1 exhorts: “Sing oh barren woman.” We took this advice and prepared our hearts by rejoicing with others who were pregnant. I started throwing baby shower parties for people I barely knew. All that time, we were preparing the soil of our lives for our own miracle. It was five years later that God answered our prayers with the birth of our first child—our precious, prepared for daughter: “Hope Cherish.”
What about you? What desire are you incubating that requires some preparation. When the Apostle Paul was instructing his young disciple Timothy to get ready, he was saying: Timothy don’t wait for the leadership badge, lead now. Don’t wait for the people to ask for your help, prepare your life with wisdom and counsel now. Dare to prepare in private now for what God may use you to do in public later.
Advance preparation speaks of a life that believes. It is a commitment to something that hasn’t even happened yet. It is faith in action. If I were to look at your life, what would your actions reveal to me about your forthcoming expectations? Instead of saying it might happen, prepare for it to happen. Today, take some time to prepare your heart and soul. Write down areas where you need to begin the work of preparation. Let your spirit know that you aren’t going to passively wait any longer for the thing your heart desires, but you are going to dare to prepare.
1. Where does your faith await the action of preparation?
2. What areas can you identify where you need to stop “delaying”?
3. What preparation can you commit to today?
This is taken from the Dare to Be devotional written by Charlotte and Natalie Grant.