Text: Luke 2:42-43, 46-47, 52
Memory verse:
”Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;“
‭‭II Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Every enviable accomplishment is traced to years of training. If you have to fulfill your God-given destiny, you have to go through the dark tunnel of training to come to the limelight.
According to legend, the Chinese bamboo tree takes five years to grow. During the first four years, it barely grows at all, staying underground and seemingly doing nothing. It is only in the fifth year that the bamboo tree suddenly shoots up, growing as much as 80 feet in just six weeks. It is a remarkable feat of patience and perseverance, a lesson of training.
Training results in perfection or expertise. We need time to learn and to acquire skills. During the four years of the bamboo underground, it appears as if it is not making progress. It is likened to the hidden years of training.
The accelerated growth of the Chinese bamboo tree in the fifth year makes it to be called a “miracle plant”. The real truth is that it is the result of years of patience and steady growth and not a miracle (1Tim 4:5). We may not immediately see the results we desire during the years of training because we are developing underground but when it begins to show up, it will appear like a miracle!
Our Lord Jesus spent thirty years of His life for a ministry which lasted for three and a half years. “Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry…” (Luke 3:23 NLT). It wasn’t that He didn’t know His calling. No, He did but He knew the importance of developing in the underground before shooting outward into the public ministry. He spent about 90% of His life time for a ministry which took 10% of His years!
Today, the average young person wants to do the opposite, that is, to spend about three and a half years preparing for a thirty years of ministry or career! We are in the Microwave generation! Instant food, instant marriage, instant ministry, instant money, instant success, and so on. But remember that, “The longest distance between two points is a shortcut”. Beware of shortcuts of training! Remember that the only tree in the Bible that grew up to maturity in one day died on the same day (Jon 4:10).
Friends, don’t go through shortcuts. Haste makes waste. Training will establish your calling and keep you from stumbling. Patience and perseverance of training will help you to lay a foundation for a lasting, strong and fruitful ministry or career.

Prayer points
1. Father, I receive grace for patience and perseverance in training, in Jesus’ name.
2. I refuse to go the shortcut of training and to make waste my calling, in Jesus’ name.

Today’s declarations
1. I will not go through the shortcuts of training lest I make waste my calling.
2. I will embrace the patience and perseverance required in training.