Big Takeaway: Our time spent behind the scenes is fertile ground for God.
Have you ever been on a road trip with kids?
If you have, you know one of their favorite questions to ask is…
“Are we there yet?”
When you sit in the car, your lower back goes numb while green trees and gas stations pass by. It’s a game between you and the GPS – who can prove the other wrong? After a few hours, you find yourself asking the same question the kids so often ask, “Are we there yet?”
Lately, I’ve been thinking about seasons in life that feel the same way; seasons you wish would hurry up so you can get to where you hope to go.
I’ve shared this before, but within the past two years, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to pare down my writing commitments to focus on our family. This wasn’t an easy decision, but when God tells you to do something it’s usually a good idea to listen, right?
I never want to wish away time and I’m deeply grateful for my role, but in my huffy, impatient moments standing over a full kitchen sink or disciplining my toddler son, I’ve found myself wanting to hurry through this season.
Maybe you’ve felt this way at times, too.
I want to encourage you with a story from scripture that encouraged me this week, and want you to know you’re not alone.
In Acts 9, we read the familiar story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Jesus revealed himself to Paul, and after three days of suffering from blindness, Paul regained his sight and dedicated his life to preaching about Jesus.
I imagine if there was one guy who wanted to hurry up and get into the ministry game, it was Paul. He didn’t lack in boldness, and his encounter with Jesus led to a drastic, miraculous life change. His tenacity, energy, and conviction led him to begin preaching about Jesus in synagogues right away.
However, it wasn’t until recently that I learned Paul spent between 3 – 14 years (scholars haven’t agreed on an exact amount of time) in the Arabian Desert to spend time with the Lord, reacquaint himself with the Torah in light of Jesus, pray, and work as a tentmaker before he ever taught a formal message or met with the apostles. (Galatians 1)
Isn’t that encouraging for us to remember as we live through seasons between where we are and where we hope to be?
Paul’s time spent studying, praying, and working reminds us that our time spent behind the scenes is fertile ground for God to plant and grow seeds of faith.
Paul’s ministry changed the world, but before God used Paul to change the world, He called him to Himself. God led Paul into a season of preparation to develop his character.
Friend, if your season of "in-between" feels sloth-like some days, I get it. Like Paul, our waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time. Will you turn to God today and let Him prepare you for what’s next?
Reflect on a seemingly slow season in your life. What were you hoping for in that season? What did God teach you?
What do you think God is teaching you in your current season? How can it be used as fertile ground for growth?
Think about Paul’s time spent in preparation. How do you think he felt while he worked, studied, and prayed before formally preaching?