Friday, January 10, 2014

for when you feel insignificant



Our garden lies empty now, covered and buried. At one time there was life there, vibrant and sustaining. But now it’s almost forlorn. Even though is appears barren, I know that under the snow and ice there lies great potential. There are bulbs waiting to emerge, roots and starts of new life. They wait for their proper time. If they grow too soon the elements will do them in, tender plants cannot endure frigid storms. It’s a bit like our lives. There are seasons where we just want to burst forth and bloom, but conditions force us to dig deeper roots and to stay unseen. This is for those times. For when your friend receives a promotion, and you’re barely making ends meet.

For when your neighbor has another child, and your arms are still empty.

For when an acquaintance lands that job that you’ve been working for, and you’re longing to move up that ladder. 

For when it seems like we can’t catch a break and everyone else is getting the things we’ve been praying for. The recognition, the job, the finances, the husbands, the kids, the friends, and the opportunities-they all seem to fall to someone else. 

Sometimes we go through circumstances that make us feel overlooked and brushed aside. We see the success of others and wonder when it’s our turn. Others receive accolades while we’re just quietly doing our own thing, and getting criticism for it. Sometimes God places us in quiet seasons, seasons hidden and tucked away. In those times it can be easy to feel cheated and gipped. 

I think the most important thing we can do with our lives is to quietly go about God’s purposes for us, and let him do the promoting when he knows it’s time. But in the meantime, we can feel small and insignificant. We wonder why she got that job, or he got those accolades, or why that family received such a lavish gift, when we have not received anything.

Here’s the truth of the matter. God sees us and he is the one who promotes us. And sometimes he hides us until we’re in a safe place to receive that promotion. You see, we want what we want now. We pray for that book deal, that husband, those children, that job, or that ministry. But God’s says wait, or not yet. In those quiet waiting seasons, seasons when we feel stuck, God does his great work of refining. He’s teaching us lessons, dealing out pearls of wisdom, but only if our hand are open to receiving them. 

We might feel like we’re living small because God is preparing us for the next season of living big.

Our work may feel hidden simply because God wants to teach us to rely on him for the encouragement we need. I think of King David, the greatest earthly king that Israel had. He had his shortcomings for sure, but he was described as a man after God’s own heart. A fierce warrior and a skilled musician, David faced many threats to his reign. On one occasion David and his fellow warriors came to the town where their families had been living, only to find that it had been ransacked and destroyed. All the women and children had been taken captive, including David’s own family. In that dark hour, when his own men were ready to turn against him and his family was gone, David turned to the source. 1 Samuel 30:4 tells us that David found his strength in the Lord. Some versions say he encouraged himself in the Lord. Either way, David knew the source of the only affirmation he needed. 

We might not find ourselves in a situation like King David, but we may find ourselves in seasons where we feel unseen. We might feel like God has forgotten our dreams, or forgotten us altogether. When those seasons come we turn to the source, we remind ourselves that God does not forget, or sleep, or slumber (Psalm 121:4). He has engraved us on the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16).

What it comes down to is this: we can’t rely on anyone else to objectively see us other than Christ himself. He knows us in and out, and those delays and waits that seem endless to us are not off his radar. God is preparing us for he has, and he wants us to get there even more than we do. 

Our season will come in due time.

Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. When you’re waiting, take heart-you don’t wait alone.

2 comments:

  1. Gina,

    This spot on. I am feeling so lost and alone because of all of the changes and crosses God has sent my way. While discerning whether or not to put my children in school after homeschooling, I heard from so many homeschooling friends how advanced their children were or how willing their children were to do the work that I felt cheated. I wanted homeschooling to work out, and I was frustrated that God hadn't made that my reality. But I know that He will make this new change a good thing for us. Just hard to see it when we are in the midst of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've been there! Don't listen to the ideas of others about your life- your job is to follow God's lead and do what's best for your family. Our decision to put the kids in school was the hardest ever, and we faced a lot of critical comments from friends and strangers alike. But, I know it was right and the peace we have as a family cannot be traded for anything.

      Be encouraged! And may God help you to see the good in the midst of the trial!

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