Welcome back, Willing Spirits!
It’s the last week of the month and I hope it will be a good one! This pandemic that we have been battling for just over a year now is something we have been waiting for to be eradicated. Although still slightly present, we have come a long way and the wait couldn’t have been more excruciating and tedious. We experienced a serious amount of “waits” and still do in the form of queues for stores for example. In a world where everything is instant–messaging, calls etc.–waiting can seem very annoying. But as followers of Christ, patience is an important attribute to possess, so important that it is one of the fruits of the spirit [Galatians 5:22].
In a spiritual sense, at times we find ourselves waiting for God to intervene in our lives when we pray to Him or when something bad happens. Sometimes it takes longer than we expected or wanted which causes us to doubt and question God‘s presence. But the Christian journey is like the life of a child. Jesus Himself always emphasised the importance of children, encouraging us to be like one in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven; ‘…unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven…’ [Matthew 18:3-4 NKJV]. When a child is first born, the parents are instantly there at their beck and call but it is not until they are slightly older–when they are capable of feeding themselves or playing around, despite the mess!–that the parents leave them a little room to grow.
This period where they struggle to eat without mess or can’t play without breaking things is all a part of the training process. They cannot always been spoon fed otherwise they won’t learn or grow. Similarly, when we first came to Christ, everything was new and God was there, instantly answering our calls but we got to a point where it was time for us to grow, be trained to be strengthened. This training period is called: the wilderness. It may take some time for some of our prayers to be answered or for God to intervene in our long-lasting troubles but it is part of the process.
For those of us that think we aren’t God‘s strongest warriors, the wilderness period is our best shot at strengthening our hearts to become one. If we are truly eager to seek God and be stronger, this time will be used to continue trusting in Him. On the other hand, if we panic and want things to go back to normal, we may make big decisions based on this temporary emotion; changing churches or the course of our lives for example. Anything to find that happiness and security we once had.
If we try to find an easy way out of the wilderness without knowing and understanding why God has put us there, we will extend the duration of our wilderness time and we all know waiting for longer than need be is not something we would like to do. Take the Israelites for example, what was only meant to be 1 year in the wilderness became forever for that one generation as they were prohibited from reaching the Promise Land. There are many things we can’t see and don’t know that God is dealing with on a daily basis but one thing we do know is that He is never late but right on time. Knowing this, it is up to us to trust in His timing.
When waiting expectantly on God it is better to focus on Him entirely. Why? Because when we want something/hope for it, in this case, wanting to come out of the dry period of “slow replies”, our brains give us a million reasons why we can’t have it. We start thinking about the impossibilities, the nevers and the limitations. So let us trust in God–keeping our eyes on the prize–no matter how hard it may seem at the time. Believe that you will see His goodness soon and don’t lose heart! Wait on Him, and fight through the tough times because they won’t last!
Stay blessed and hopeful, Willing Spirit! See you next week, by God‘s grace! X
– A fellow Willing Spirit