Here’s hope for the waiting period, the winter season, and the wilderness road if you’re feeling hopeless.In God’s economy, nothing is wasted!
Does anything about that title resonate with you?
If we used Google Earth to locate you, would the little red pointer land on “Wilderness Road”?
What about the AccuWeather app? Would it show the current condition of your heart as “winter,” with “spring” nowhere in the forecast, not even the long-range one?
And do you remember Dr. Seuss’s book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go?”
What page would be bookmarked if the story was an indicator of your present status?
Would it be, “You’re off to great places, today is your day!”
Or would the smack-dab middle of the book be more applicable?
You know, the one with all the creatures just standing and sitting in “The Waiting Place.”
If this does resonate, I’m so sorry. It’s a hands-down recipe for feeling hopeless.
Feeling Hopeless is Deception
These places and seasons and times of life are not the ones we photograph and share on Facebook or Instagram.
They’re the ones we “hunker” down and endure.
No two circumstances are the same. But the effects are similar.
Alone. Dry, Dusty, and Disoriented.
Cold and Barren.
If not broken, at least cracked. Depressed.
Overlooked and Overwhelmed.
Drained (if not completely exhausted).
Unfinished. Unintended. Uncertain.
We fight for joy and hold on to hope, believing that God knows what he is doing.
I’ve been there – the wilderness road, the winter season, and that darn waiting place are well-known to me.
And I’m so sorry.
But there’s some truth you need to hear:
In God’s economy, nothing is wasted.
Whatever your life holds right now, it is still FULL of purpose ~ both for you and for your witness.
And that feeling of hopelessness?
It’s deception and one of the enemy’s favorite weapons.
And we shouldn’t be surprised he loves to throw the arrow of hopelessness our way, because the reality is this:
When you hold on to hope when life doesn’t hand you much to hold on to, you become a walking epistle.
A letter about the power of the Gospel and the sufficiency of God’s grace.
Your life testifies that Jesus is worthy to be trusted.
While you wait, travel the barren road, and endure this season, here are a few thoughts that may help you keep things in perspective and fight that temptation to feel hopeless.
[x_feature_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h3″ icon=”heart-o”]Encouragement to Endure …[/x_feature_headline]
… the Wilderness Road
Don’t be surprised to find that God LED you here.
God led the Israelites down the wilderness road on purpose. Check out Exodus 13:17-18.
This was not a time-wasting detour. This was not a result of their disobedience.
The wilderness was SAFER than the alternative. God knew the more northern route was crawling with dangerous, murderous opposition.
God was using the wilderness to protect His people, whether they knew it or not.
We simply cannot know.
We only get to experience life in fragments.
God may even be protecting us from ourselves!
Personally, I need to be protected from wanting the Promised Land more than I want the Promise Giver.
… the Winter Season
Scripture, science, and life affirm the reality and necessity of seasons.
But although we know Scripture — although we believe the promise — when it’s bitterly cold inside our hearts and there is no fruit to be seen from our labor … well, let’s admit it:
This is HARD.
The same can be true of your emotional, spiritual winter. Let God use it to increase your expectation of what He is going to do with spring.
As children of the Creator, we have the assurance and the hope that comes from knowing that God is not just the author of seasons (Gen. 8:22), but that He has given each one a time and a purpose (Ecc. 3).
The science of dormancy for plants is fascinating. Winter may feel like an “in-between season,” but it is a necessary time of recovery and preparation.
Open your spiritual eyes and keep watching.
EXPECT Him to wring GLORY from this “in-between” season.
He is still working, even when you cannot see fruit.
… the Waiting Place
Consider the way King David’s calling began.
The day after he was anointed king, he was right back out with the sheep.
He did soon receive a promotion, however: delivery boy, harp player, and armor bearer! Woo Hoo!
But wait, there’s more!
The bonus of all bonuses: moving target!
David was anointed with all the power of God’s Spirit to be God’s king over God’s people, but then spent the next 15 years in service and submission to the very one God had said he would replace.
(After those initial 15, another 7 years in only partial fulfillment of his original anointing.)
Talk about a recipe for disappointment, frustration, and feeling hopeless!
… about wondering if you missed God’s calling
… if you misunderstood his purpose
… if you’ve messed up your chance to be used for his kingdom!
But here’s the thing.
When David was anointed as a young man, that anointing was not just for when he would reign as king 22 years later.
No, that anointing enabled him to travel each step of the journey on the road to that eventual destiny.
The same is true for you.
Wherever you are.
Whatever your life holds.
Regardless of how different it is from what you expected.
God has anointed you with His Spirit to equip you and empower you to fulfill THIS calling.
Each small faithful act now builds toward a larger assignment.
Remain committed to the daily, small things.
Cling to His presence and commit to engage in these circumstances.
Don’t just “wait,” … “work” at becoming the son or daughter you want to be when God says, “Ok. Now it’s time.”
And if you are wondering:
“Is it possible to be both anointed for a special purpose and yet smack dab in the middle of a holding pattern?”
David would answer: “Absolutely.”
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Combat feelings of discouragement and brokenness with survival-grade faith.