Do you feel like your life is on hold? Are your unfulfilled dreams fading? You are not alone.

God has not forgotten your dream. He is working behind-the-scenes in ways you do not see. God sees a beautiful diamond inside each of us, but it takes time for Him to cut out the impurities in our lives so we can sparkle and reflect Jesus. Anything the Lord finds in our lives that does not look like Jesus must go.

As a part of this refining process, the Lord uses relationships we have with others. Perhaps it’s coworkers, friends, neighbors or even family members. Sometimes they feel like sandpaper because they rub us the wrong way. But don’t dismiss their value too quickly. God may be using them to sand off the rough spots in our personalities and build His character within us. The process is not pleasant but necessary.

Sometimes the refining process feels as if it’s taking too long for a dream to be fulfilled. God’s timing is paramount. His timetable is much better than ours even if it does not feel like it at the moment. He is much more concerned about the process than the end result. While Joseph was in prison, God was preparing him for the fulfillment of his dream. Joseph had to wait for God’s perfect timing and endure some character refinement through people who had disappointed him (Genesis 41). At the right time, Joseph suddenly experienced the fulfillment of his dream.

Life is filled with seasons. The Bible says, “As long as the earth remains, there will be seasons” (Genesis 8:22). I would never think of swimming in a lake during our cold Pennsylvanian winters. In the summertime, my snow shovel is put away because I don’t need it until the winter piles heaps of snow on my driveway. God appoints seasons of preparation for us, and seasons when our dreams come to pass. Fulfillment of our dreams is dependent on God’s timing and seasons.

God is in your corner. Remember, His plans for you are for good, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). But God is committed first and foremost to His divine process of refining us and making sure we reflect Jesus.