October 10, 2018
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14 NLT)
Friend to Friend
The first time we took our children to a theme park, one of them commented at the end of the day that we had spent most of our day waiting in lines. However, this same child also said that the thrill of the rides had been well worth it. Following God sometimes feels like a day at a theme park. It has some exciting ups, some scary downs, and a lot of waiting in between.
I remember a season when I was waiting and wondering. About the time that our first child entered the toddler phase, my husband and I were excited to be expecting again. So, we were devastated when we experienced a miscarriage at seventeen weeks. We wanted to get pregnant again soon after that loss, but after eighteen months of trying, I wondered if perhaps we were going to have only one child. While I was grateful for my son, my heart longed to have more children. Those were long weeks and months of waiting, wondering, and praying. Can you think of a time when you were in a season of waiting for something to happen? Perhaps right now you are waiting on a job opportunity, a move, health to improve, a relationship to heal, or retirement to begin.
For most of us, waiting isn’t our favorite thing. The prophet Elijah found himself in a season when God hit the pause button in his life. He was hiding out by divine direction after Elijah told King Ahab that a three year drought was coming to Israel. The Lord told Elijah to go and hide by the Kerith brook. (1 Kings 17:1-4) Walking with God usually includes some long seasons of waiting.
Ahab wanted to harm Elijah even thought he was merely the messenger. God told Elijah to hide for his own protection. Waiting seasons don’t always mean we are scared or in trouble. Some seasons require withdrawing in obedience. Elijah’s seclusion provided time for solitude to prepare him for ministry in the years to come.
God designed us for community with other believers, but there are times when we must rely on Him alone. During these seasons, God supernaturally provides for the needs of His servants and protects them from danger. God hid Elijah away where no one would find him and had ravens bring him bread and meat. (1 Kings 17:6)
God is able to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). He doesn’t promise that every whim and wish will be granted, but He does promise to provide for true needs. He has proven that to me time and time again just as He proved it to Elijah.
God will go to great lengths to take care of His people, providing for us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. After waiting for almost two years for a second child, my husband and I were able to get pregnant again. And just ten days before birth, we found out we were not just having one baby! Our surprise twins remind me that waiting seasons don’t last forever. We can use those times to freak out and worry, or we can allow God to use our waiting seasons to prepare us for all He has in store for the future!
Dear Lord, you know that waiting seasons are not my favorite thing. Please help me to fix my eyes on You when I don’t know what will happen next. Help me to trust your timing. You provided for Elijah in incredible ways during his time of waiting. Give me eyes to see your protection and provision in my own life as I wait patiently for Your plan to unfold. Grow my faith as I listen and learn until I see Your plan come to fruition.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What are you waiting for right now? Take a moment to evaluate your own posture as you wait. Have you been filled with anxiety, worry, or fear? Or has this been a time of growth as you strain your eyes to see God’s protection and provision? Ask God to build your spiritual stamina as you pray and rely on Him during your personal seasons of waiting. If you would like to go deeper in studying Elijah’s life and the practices that led to his spiritual stamina, consider joining a summer launch team which will preview a new women’s Bible study on this topic. You can get all the details here: http://melissaspoelstra.com/elijah-launch-team/
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Melissa Spoelstra is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages know Christ more intimately through serious Bible study. She is the author of several women’s Bible studies including Numbers, First Corinthians, Joseph, and Jeremiah which include video teaching and daily study. Her newest study, Elijah: Spiritual Stamina in Every Season, will release in early August. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids. Find her online at www.melissaspoelstra.com.
Originally published Wednesday, 10 October 2018.