life is a compilation of transitory seasons
More and more as I catch myself referring to my current season as a “waiting season,” or “a season of transition,” I become disgusted with those over-used phrases. There is nothing wrong with them except for the fact that I can’t remember the last time I didn’t use these words to describe my life. And I think I’m starting to realize… life is a waiting season. As I have patiently waited, and waited, and waited for the waiting season to end, it’s becoming clear that I’m waiting for the wrong thing. God never calls us to wait for arrival at a season of no more waiting—not until eternity, at least. Life is waiting. It’s one long season of beautiful, holy dissatisfaction with our current state and a longing for the fullness of His kingdom to be realized. There are so many little things we wait for—graduation, jobs, marriage, kids, houses, moving… the list goes on and on, but the little waiting for each of these things is just a reminder of the big waiting that should serve to sanctify us and increase our desire for more of the Lord’s presence every day.
we can’t wait for “arrival” to walk in all Jesus has called us to— we have already arrived!
The danger of referring to seasons of our lives as “waiting seasons” is this: labelling a season as one devoted to waiting often encourages us to embrace complacency in the way we seek and serve Jesus, rather than continue to walk in faithful obedience no matter our season. “Arrival” is a lie. Consider birth to be your first arrival, and salvation to be arrival 2.0. You are physically here and your justification is secure; in salvation you have been given all you need for life and godliness- now let the sanctification begin! When we view ourselves as having already arrived, it enables us to act accordingly and live in the truth that we already have all we need to do this life. The waiting trap cripples us. We become blind to the freedom we have been given and we don’t realize how incredibly equipped we are; instead we reason that we can’t truly walk in those things until we arrive in the next season, which turns into the next, and then the next. Friends, every breath in every season offers a new moment to follow and obey.
if our battle-readiness were assessed based on our obedience in faithfulness during the “in-between,” what position would we be given?
I wonder how often what we call “waiting” seasons are actually “training” seasons in the Lord’s eyes. Seasons in which He offers us a reprieve from the mountain top high to walk on flat ground and faithfully seek Him as we walk, not knowing when the next mountain will emerge. The mundane moments are usually the most challenging times to pursue the Lord; the true desires of our heart tend to show through when we are not in the valley of desperation or rejoicing on the mountain. On the flat ground, it’s just us and the Lord without circumstances of any extreme to distract from our true spiritual state. And if these seasons are to be used to train and test our faithfulness, how are we doing? What would the Lord give me to do in my next season based on the way I am obeying Him in the current one? Please don’t hear this as any kind of works based method of seeking God; in His great grace, God constantly uses completely flawed and unqualified people to accomplish His purpose, but I would certainly rather be found faithful and obedient in addition to flawed and unqualified.
the Lord’s purpose will always prevail. He isn’t worried about us making it happen, He’s worried about our hearts.
The thing is, God already knows how this story ends. He knows when the thing you are waiting for will be realized. He knows what you will wait for next and when that will be realized too. He is 100% in control of the timing, and He isn’t worried about it. I believe that much more than the circumstances, He is worried about our hearts through it all. He is concerned with the way we trust and seek Him through the in-between. He is interested in seeing us learn to trust Him more through the waiting and have a great understanding of His character. He wants our roots to grow deeper so that in the future trials and dry seasons we are strong and unshakable. Really, this waiting stuff does a lot to reveal His love for us that is so much bigger than our present comfort.
- Stay busy while you’re waiting. Use this time wisely to grow in the Lord and invest in others.
- Let your desire for what’s next drive you to the Lord, not away from Him! Take your fear and frustration and whatever else you might be feeling to Ask Him persistently for the thing it is you are waiting on and ask Him to clarify your desires so that they align with His will.
- Practice gratitude even when it is hard. Keep a gratitude journal or a list in your phone in which you record the things you are thankful for and the way you see God moving in your life. It is so important to be intentional about this so that you don’t get stuck in the trap of dissatisfaction with your life and with God. Remind yourself of who He is by purposing to be grateful for what He has done.