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. When you hold on to hope when life doesn't hand you much to hold on to, you testify that Jesus is worthy to be trusted.

The Wilderness Road, The Winter Season, and The Waiting Place


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.”

(My answer has, at times, been “yes” to all three. In fact, if Dr. Seuss had pulled me into his book, I would have worn a hole on the couch between the funny looking purple creature and the guy with the umbrella in that “Waiting Place.”)

If this does resonate, I’m so sorry. 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. Persevere. They’re also the ones where faith is forged and formed. We fight for joy and hold on to hope, believing that God knows what he is doing.

But still, it hurts. And it’s hard.

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.

I’ve been there – the wilderness road, the winter season, and that darn waiting place are well-known to me. I’ve watched God use my time in all three to grow my faith, as well as my compassion.

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.

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.


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.
I need to be emptied of myself so that I can recognize His daily bread, living water, and the wonder of His Spirit tabernacled within me.

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.

Winter makes you long for spring. 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, disillusionment!
Talk 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.”

 

P.S. Are you my email friend?

If you’re reading this, it’s quite possible you need encouragement. I have something that might help: my Scripture mini-guide, 6 Cries of the Heart. It comes with a link to a companion set of praise song playlists. It’s free for my email friends.


Encouraging You as You inspire others,

Christi
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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. When you hold on to hope when life doesn't hand you much to hold on to, you testify that Jesus is worthy to be trusted.

 

ChristiThe Wilderness Road, The Winter Season, and The Waiting Place

Comments 18

  1. Leonie Adcock

    Thank you Christi for your encouragement and inspiration. I have been going through the wilderness, winter seasons and waiting periods also. I came across your blog via Pinterest today, the Lord has greatly gifted you with beautiful words that go straight to the heart, they brought tears to my eyes! How I too love the Lord’s promise in Ps 84:5-6 May the Lord continue to richly bless you in your ministry.

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      Christi

      Thank you for being here and letting me know these words resonated. As someone who is very familiar with the dusty road and the waiting place, I can tell you words like yours carry weight you likely will never know. All praise to our God who crosses paths and weaves our stories to bring Him glory!

  2. Darcy Hicks

    Wow, Christi! What a timely and encouraging word for this weary heart of mine. The wilderness season seems long, and the winter feels like spring will never come, and oh, the waiting that appears to never end. Thanks for the reminder that He is faithful and spring will come! So glad I found your blog. Beautiful, life-giving words! Thank you!

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  3. Jed Jurchenko

    Thanks Christi,

    Yep, I’ve been in the winter, wilderness place, and in the waiting place too. Though not fun at the time, today I truly believe that God did lead me there for a reason. Years later I can see how I grew & am better for it. TY for these words of encouragement :)

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  4. Ruthie Gray

    Yup. Just sitting over here between the purple thing and umbrella guy. Just wondering. Exactly what purpose is this holding pattern playing in my life. And yet – you affirmed the waiting stage once again with that whole David story I overlooked. I keep thinking, “what is it that I’m missing, God? I did A, B, and C. That equals D, right?” Apparently not. But you encouraged me yet again.

    Thank you, sweet, wise friend. You and the good Doctor S. rocked it once again. I see you over here, growing by leaps and bounds! God is using you, just as I foretold (when you’re famous, just remember the Prophet Ruthie told you so).

    Love you! :)

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      Christi

      Oh, dear friend. I so know the a + b + c + d + e + f + g … must equal Z at some point! I am just coming out of the fog and I want to shout to everyone else still fighting the smoke and say, “It DOES happen. Just keep swimmin’ Just keep stepping.”

      I love how we both sponge wisdom from Dr. Seuss. We get each other!

      And haha to your last comment. You are a mess!

  5. sarahgirl3

    Every time I finally make it through something, I can look back and see the reason for it or at least see God there with me. But yes, it is soooo hard in the waiting!

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  6. loisflowers

    So, I’ll just say that every last bit of this post resonates with me, my heart, my life, my journey … you get the idea! It’s like you went through the files on my computer and in my brain and summed up a lot of tidbits in a much more concise way than I’ve yet to do! The wilderness, holding patterns, drained, overwhelmed, Dr. Seuss, seasons, God’s goodness … wow! I love your blog and am so happy to have found it!

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      Christi

      Lois, as a fellow writer, I’m certain you know what gift you just gave me by leaving this comment. That is my heart’s desire and why I write … If I can accomplish what you just described, I can call it a day because that is all I want out of this.

      Thank you for blessing me with this and for taking the time to read. I know time is precious, so if you gave some of yours to my words, that is an offering I don’t take lightly.

  7. Kristin Hill Taylor

    Having been in the wilderness, winter and waiting places myself, I love remembering what God did for me and how he didn’t leave me there. When we seek him, we certainly are travelers. I really love thinking about life that way. Thanks for this post and for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday!

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  8. joanneviola

    So very true – it is not a permanent place. Your post brought this Scripture to mind, which I so love, “What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.” (Psalm 84:5-6, NLT). Grateful to have been neighbors this morning at Three Word Wednesday. Blessings!

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      Christi

      Hi, Joanne! I visited and love your “place.”
      This is a beautiful piece of the Word to share with me this morning. Thank you!
      Refreshing springs. I’m going to think about that one for a bit.
      Looking forward to getting to know you better through your gracious writing!

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