Several years ago friends took me to a restaurant called "Carraba's." I had never been there before. We had to wait 45 minutes to be seated. I was hungry but they said it would be worth the wait. I hoped they were right. They recommended Chicken Marsala, so I went along with their recommendation. We waited another 30 minutes. That is now an hour and 15 minutes. The food finally came and of course we ate the salad first. Then, finally it was time to try the Marsala. I picked up the fork and the knife, cut the first piece, stuck it in my mouth and . . . a speechless WOW! My mouth had a party. My tastebuds had never experienced anything like that. It was incredible. With every bite the memory of the hour and 15 minute wait faded away. I would have waited two hours for this, maybe three!
As I think back to that experience I could have arrived at Carraba's, found out about the 45 minute wait and said forget it! I'm going across the street to the McDonald's drive-in to get some chicken Mcnuggets because I want to eat now! It would have been quicker. It would have filled me up, at least for the moment, but then I would have missed out on so much more.
We are tempted to do this in our life all the time. Credit cards – buy now, physical purity – don’t wait until marriage, walk away from a difficult friendship instead of working through it to make it even stronger. So many times we settle for the short term pleasure instead of the long-term joy. We can see Christ model this idea in Hebrews 12. “Who for the Joy set before Him endured the cross.”
In the midst of your ministry and singleness refuse the short cuts. God is preparing our character to match our assignment. Don't settle for the counterfeit pleasure, hold out for the unspeakable joy. Trust Him. He knows exactly what He is doing.