I will be very honest with you in this article. I am in a rut. Everything is simply okay. I am in a season of waiting and I hate it. In the past, this season made it hard to cultivate my faith. I struggled to sing praises to the Lord for all that He has done because I was unable to see real movement in my life. At the same time, I have not been going through anything significantly terrible, so I was not asking Him to keep my head above water. I have had to force myself to spend any deliberate time with God; this made quiet time feel like a chore—just one extra thing to be done in my day. Cultivating my relationship with God had become frustrating, and I was convinced that only a major movement of God would get me out of it.
Emptiness grabbed hold of me, and I slowly began to spiral into the mindset that I was helplessly alone. I was anxiously hoping for God to show His face so I could come alive again. Tired of waiting for Him to show up, I began a devotional in an attempt to grow my faith in this rut. It slowly helped me realize how many moments in the Bible are spent waiting. It is a repeating motif in Scripture: a promise from God, followed by a season of waiting for its fulfillment. So much time would pass in fact, that the characters involved became impatient. They acted on their own will in an attempt to fulfill His. Abraham and Sarah were prime examples. God promised to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars. However, Abraham was old. His wife Sarah was barren. How could this promise come to pass? They entered a time of waiting and as more time passed, Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands. She gave Abraham her slave, Hagar, to “help” God’s promise come along. Abraham agreed that this was surely the way to fulfill God’s promise, and he slept with Hagar.
Hagar bore a son named Ishmael. However, he was not the promised descendent. Eventually, Sarah miraculously conceived and bore a son named Isaac. Through him, God’s promise was fulfilled. This story presents an example of the difficulty that comes while waiting in the stillness. It also shows how easy it can be to lose sight of what God has promised when we do not seem to hear from Him. This kind of restlessness can cause us to miss the beauty and growth that lies within the waiting.
I can relate to Abraham and Sarah’s waiting. My season has looked spiritually bleak. But I know that even when it does not seem like it, God is always working. Just because it is not obvious from our limited perspective, He is preparing the way for His children to move forward into promise and growth.
I have realized that this rut, this stillness, this waiting, is actually a period in which I can work to deliberately cultivate my faith. However, I must have a correct perspective. Rather than feeling obligated to crack open my Bible or somehow force God to move, I must openly move forward to discover what He has waiting for me. Instead of growing closer to God only when I need Him to get through a difficult time–instead of praising Him only when He has done something incredible for me–I can be close to Him in the waiting. I am choosing to trust His will for my future.
This realization has not immediately fixed everything. I still struggle to make time to be with God. It can still be difficult for me to see how He is working around me or trust that He is working for the future. Without the reminder of His promises, it is easy to be overcome by loneliness and anxiety. I have started to recognize these spirals as attacks from the enemy. Instead of agreeing, I take it as a sign to jump back into God’s presence.
Faith is not just relying on God when it’s tough. It is not just praising Him when He does great things. It is growing and trusting that He is working. I know that this period will end and I will enter into something amazing. But I have decided not to rush His plan for me. I have decided to be content in the waiting.