When God gives us a vision of what he wants us to be, there is always a time of preparation before the vision becomes a reality. During this time, God takes us down into the valley of humiliation and begins to batter us into shape.

Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom, . . .
And batter’d with the shocks of doom
To shape and use.

—Alfred Tennyson

It is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Satan comes in with his temptations, and we wonder if there’s any point in going on. But every vision will be made real if we have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in a hurry. Inspired by the vision God has given us, we rush out to try to accomplish it, then meet with failure because we aren’t yet in proper shape. We have to stay in the valley with God until we get to the place where he can trust us with the reality. Ever since we first glimpsed the vision, God has been at work, battering us into the shape of the ideal. Over and over again, we escape from his hand, trying to shape ourselves.

The vision isn’t a castle in the air. It’s a vision God fully intends to make real. Trust yourself in the potter’s hands. Let God put you on his wheel and whirl you as he likes. As sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don’t lose heart in the process. Once you’ve had a vision from God, you can try to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.

Wisdom from Oswald

The attitude of a Christian towards the providential order in which he is placed is to recognize that God is behind it for purposes of His own.  Biblical Ethics, 99 R