Confession 377: Being Christ’s Body

 

God put everything under Christ’s feet and made him head of everything in the church,  which is his body. His body, the church, is the fullness of Christ, who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23 (CEB)

When I was a kid, there was a little rhyme we learned to act out with our hands.  Maybe you’ve heard it:

church and steeple

Here’s the church

Here’s the steeple

Open the doors

Here’s the people

This rhyme demonstrates the fact that people are the church.  But, what is the church?

Scripturally, the church is the body of Christ.  In Ephesians, Paul writes that the church is the fullness of Christ.

Stop here for a moment.  This is one of those phrases many people are accustomed to hearing and therefore stop considering.  Read this sentence again, out loud.  Fully take it in.

The church is the fullness of Christ.

When I read Ephesians 1:22-23, I was absolutely convicted.  The church is the fullness of Christ?  The church is the fullness of CHRIST!

The American church is struggling.  Mainstream denominations are in decline.  Younger generations find church to be an irrelevant pastime that usually includes some sort of Confession 284: Why We Go To Churchjudginess or bigotry.  Churches are scrambling to figure out how to draw people back in.  We try to put on a really good show, full of digital spectacle and pageantry.  We want church to be hip, fun and cool.  It’s especially great when it doesn’t last more than 45 minutes and includes free coffee and snacks.

 

The thing is, the fullness of Christ isn’t necessarily represented by a fully stocked coffee bar.  The fullness of Christ is represented when fully committed followers of Jesus come together to praise, worship, pray and grow together.  The fullness of Christ is represented when fully committed followers of Christ open their hearts (and doors) to those who don’t know Jesus–embracing them and leading them into the light of grace and love.  The fullness of Christ is represented when the powers and authorities on earth look to the church as a beacon of light and wisdom and peace.

Those who are seeking purpose and meaning in their lives are looking for an authentic relationship–not a show.  If the church is going to represent the fullness of Christ, then all of its members need to commit to growing in their relationship with Jesus.  We need to put aside differences of theology, denomination, politics and even worship styles to focus again on being the body of Christ.

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When Jesus walked on this earth, his hands brought healing to those who had been written off as hopeless causes.  His feet brought news of hope and life to those who were living under oppression and fear.  His lips challenged the status quo and tore apart the hypocrisy of the religious elite.  His very blood was offered as a sacrifice for all of humankind.

What a powerful message!  And how might our communities be transformed if we, the church, fully became the body of Christ.

This week, my challenge is to think about what it means to be the body of Christ.  Are you representing God’s fullness?  Is your church acting as the body of Christ?  What can you do to better show God’s love, mercy and forgiveness?

The church is the fullness of Christ.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

 

 

Confession 376:Some Thoughts on Grief

In the same way, you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and you will be overjoyed. No one takes away your joy. John 16:22 (CEB)

About a week ago, I received word that a childhood friend had passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly.  She left behind a husband, two middle school aged daughters, a twin sister and a younger brother.  And then there were copious friends and extended family who loved her much.

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This week, hundreds of memories have been flying through my head.  I remember playing hide and seek at church on Wednesday nights.  I remember birthday parties and sleepovers; laughter and silliness.  I remember summer nights laying in a driveway looking for shooting stars.  I remember road trips and vast hours of uninterrupted time to talk, laugh and sing.

Like many working moms, the past couple of years have brought about less talking and time together and more “liking” on Facebook or the occasional quick comment.  The demands of children, church and career called to me, and I always thought there would be time…time after the kids were older…time after the work slowed down…time…later.  But then, there wasn’t.

I’m not much of a crier.  It’s part ridiculous Midwestern stoicism, I think and part vanity because I’m an ugly crier.  Rather, grief tends to settle on my heart like a weighted blanket.  It’s a heaviness I carry with me.

This summer, beautiful and amazing with new adventures and roads to travel, has also been punctuated by grief.  We left our community of six years–the longest my husband and I have lived in any one place since leaving our childhood homes.  We lost my grandmother–the last of the “greatest generation” in our family.  And now, we’re saying goodbye to a friend.

Confession 271: Making Meaning

I’ve been thinking a lot about grief, and I’ve come to the conclusion that despite what our “happy at all costs” society says, grief is good.  Grief helps us to see how much we’ve loved.  When we feel loss, it is because we are letting go of someone or someplace we deeply love and, most likely, someone (or a whole community of people) who loved us, too.  Grief helps us keep this life in perspective, giving us the opportunity to remember that our current present is temporal and that there is a bigger journey beyond this lifetime.

I love Jesus’ words to his disciples in the upper room.  The disciples are grieving. They don’t like this unexpected turn in the conversation.  Jesus is leaving?  Jesus is going to die?  This wasn’t part of the plan!  But look at what Jesus says…

You have sorrow now, but I will see you again…

Jesus gets it.  This world is full of grief.  But, and here is the crux on which we Jesus people stand rooted, but I will see you again.

This is punctuated by even more good news.

In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.

What an amazing promise!  Jesus wasn’t abandoning his disciples when he left them, nor does he abandon us in our time of grief.  Jesus gives us the everlasting promise of his presence.  I will see you again…I have conquered the world.

Grief comes to us all.  Maybe you’re not grieving now, but I’m sure you have at some point.  And, I know with certainty that grief is something we will feel again.  But, it’s okay.  Grief is something God has wired us to feel.  It is a sign of love.  If you’re feeling grief, don’t push it aside.  Don’t add things to your to-do list so you can push it away.  Instead, let the sorrow sit with you, and remember the love that brought it.  Remember, too, the wonderful promise of Jesus…I will see you again.  I have conquered the world.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

 

 

Confession 375: A Good Place

Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (CEB)

The past few days, I have been frantically working to meet a deadline.  I’ve been up with the sun and gone to bed long after the moon has risen.  This morning, I was doing some Yoga to stretch my weary muscles before getting back to my laptop.  As I was laying on the floor, connecting my head, heart and pelvis, my great big Newfoundland stuck his big furry head in my face.

“Rrrr…” he started, and licked my hand.  I batted him away as I pulled my legs up one at a time.  In the stubbornness that marks his breed, he began again.

“Rrrr…” followed by a lick.

“Cut it out, Jo,” I said, as I closed my eyes to breathe.  Suddenly, I felt his cool, wet nose on the side of my next as he breathed in my scent.  Apparently, my neck always tells him everything he needs to know about me.  I reached up my hand to scratch the underside of his velvety muzzle.  With a big sigh of contentment, he plopped down next to me and rested his head on my arm.

As I cuddled next to my oversized and overstuffed living breathing pillow, I found myself thinking, this is a good place to be.  It wasn’t a productive place.  It wasn’t a useful place.  It wasn’t even where I felt I needed to be.  It was just a good place.

When I have a deadline to meet, I get a laser-like focus.  I ignore my husband eating his cereal beside me.  I ignore my children running, screaming and chasing the dogs in circles around the house.  I ignore my sister calling me.  I am solely focused on my work.

But sometimes, the places we feel like we need to be are not that places where it is good to be.  The stress and pressure of too much work makes me irritable, emotional and leaves me exhausted and depressed.  I need those green valleys God promised in Psalm 23!

So this morning, I took some time to sit in the good place God provided.  It wasn’t bright and green.  It wasn’t cool and refreshing.  It was black and fluffy.  It was good.

Today, I challenge you to find a good place.  Find a place where you can spend a few minutes resting, letting God fill you up.  Then, share your good place with me.  I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

Confession 374:Transforming Our Love

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As I was engaging in my daily Bible study time this morning, I found that my heart wasn’t in it.  You see, I had been reading some news articles about the latest mass shooting–the sixteenth in our current President’s almost eight years of leadership.

In the past, these tragedies have prompted me to  write about the incredible power and transformative nature of God’s love–the ability of love to shine a light in the darkness and to cast out all fear.

These tragedies have ignited in me a fire to show God’s love to others in real and meaningful ways.  These tragedies have driven me to seek out ways to live a life of love.

But this morning, as I read Paul’s words in 2nd Corinthians 3:18 regarding the transformative power of God, I was just sad and angry.  I’m sad because I feel like we, as the Church, are not being transformed.  And I’m angry because I feel like our society has just accepted these mass shootings as a new and unfortunate normal.  It’s like we collectively shrug our shoulders and sigh, “What are you gonna do?”  And the Church does this, too.

The truth is, there’s a lot we can do.  And I’d like to think that the Church could lead the charge.

First, as Jesus followers, we can stop politicizing our faith and understand that Jesus didn’t come to lead a political movement.  Jesus came from God, the Creator of all things.  He already had dominion over the Earth.  He recognized that political leadership is temporal, but that spiritual well-being lasts forever.  He circumvented politicians and brought healing, forgiveness and transformation to those who needed it most.  As his followers, we  need to do the same.

While our faith can and should inform our political decisions, our political beliefs should not define our faith.  Our actions, ultimately, should point back to Jesus, not a political party.

Second, as Jesus followers, we need to put aside our own theological differences of opinion and unite under a banner of God’s love.  The Bible is pretty clear on who sits in the seat of judgement, and it’s not you or me.  Our job is to make disciples, and if we use Jesus’ model, we do that by actively loving others–especially those who are marginalized and considered “unclean”.

If we, as Jesus followers, can unite under a banner of love, think of the changes we could bring!  The Church has a beautiful and powerful history of leading social change.  Under John Wesley, Sunday schools were created to teach illiterate adults how to read.  The Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. began in churches across the South as pastors like Martin Luther King, Jr. came together and demanded equality.

Today, it is time for the Church to reclaim that mission.  If the government isn’t willing to invest in mental health programs, our churches can.  If the government isn’t willing to invest in the education of all American children, regardless of race or class, our churches can.  Our churches have the resources necessary to transform our society.  Our churches have the almighty power of God waiting to be unleashed on a society in desperate need.  We just need to use it.

Finally, as human beings, we need to call for a change in gun policy.  Yes, I’m going there.  But, I’m not going there politically.  I understand and respect the rights of people to own guns.  But when that right infringes on another’s (or hundreds of others) right to peaceably assemble, go to school, go to church, go to a movie, or go to work then something has to give.  For me, that “give” is going to be working to get a ban on assault rifles.  The sale of these weapons creates in me the righteous anger that Jesus demonstrated when he drove the money changers from the Temple.  I think it’s the right thing to do.

Our society is in desperate need of transformation.  As Jesus people, we have the ability.  We just need to let God’s love lead the way.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

 

Confession 373:Use Your Gifts

The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.  1 Corinthians 12:7 (CEV)

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When I was a classroom teacher, I always tried to discover the different gifts and abilities of my students.  Knowing where their unique strengths and abilities helped me better understand how they learned.

As a parent, I believe that one of my roles is to identify and help develop the different gifts and abilities of my boys.

My boys tend to be fairly atypical.  They prefer playing with stuffed animals over action figures, legos over jungle gyms and doing Rainbow Loom rather than going outside for a pick-up baseball game.  This used to bother me.  Buying into cultural stereotypes about gender expectations, I wondered if I was doing something wrong.  Then I had a realization.

My boys are creative.  And that’s okay.  As a parent, my job is to nurture that desire for creativity.  When my youngest wants to get creative in the kitchen, I grit my teeth through the spilled salt and splattered eggs to help him create a one of a kind dish.

When my oldest wants to create yet another Disney Rainbow Loom charm on the computer, I give him time, my computer, and the entire dining room table to do so.

Nurturing gifts is important because God has imparted them to each of us for a reason.  Our gifts are not meant for us alone.  They are meant to benefit others.

The Spirit gives us gifts in order to serve others.

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Yet often in our busy and frenetic world, our spiritual gifts get neglected.  They lie dormant as we shuttle ourselves and our families through the daily grind.  We wait to use our gifts for a more convenient time, or after they’re better developed, or when we have more money to invest in them.

Sitting on our spiritual gifts is like leaving a Christmas present unopened.  There’s really no purpose in having it.  And, it sends a negative message to the one who gave it.

Instead, we need to open up our gifts.  We need to play with them, grow them, build on them and use them.

You might be thinking, “I don’t have any gifts.”  However, gifts come in all shapes and sizes.  What do you like to do?  What brings you joy?  Chances are, the answers to those questions point to a gift.

“Yeah,” you might be thinking.  “But what I like to do is… (read, listen to music, bowl, play baseball, garden).  How can that be a gift to others?”

Begin by assessing the needs of your community.

In our town of about 1200, there was a group of people who liked to read.  However, the nearest library was ten miles away.  This group worked to establish a community library, staffed by volunteers who wanted to share their love of reading with others.  Today, the library provides a variety of resources and services to the community, including summer reading programs for kids.  The gift of reading shared by a small group of people has impacted an entire town.

Using your gifts doesn’t have to be huge.  Small acts are equally important.  Small acts can change a life.

Several years ago I took a group of sixth graders to work on a Habitat for Humanity build.  The kids laid sod, painted, planted flowers and pushed wheelbarrows full of gravel.  They had a great time running around outside.  While their work seemed small, it was the finishing touch on a home that would provide much needed shelter to a family who had never had a home.

Big or small, using our gifts is important.  This week, I would encourage you to reflect on the gifts God has given you.  Then, ask God to open up some areas in your life to use those gifts for others.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

Confession 372: What’s Your Why?

Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the good news.  1 Corinthians 1:17

Have you ever gone shopping without a purpose?  Wandering aimlessly through department stores can be a stressful experience for me.  I either buy things I don’t need and then feel guilty about it.  Or, I become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of all the “stuff” stores have and feel anxious and depressed.  While I love shopping, I generally need a purpose for it–even if that purpose is that Old Navy is having a really great shorts sale!

Purpose is important.  Purpose gets us out of bed in the mornings.  Purpose propels us forward.  Yet often, many of us go through life with no clear idea about our purpose.  We feel anxious, depressed and overwhelmed because we don’t know why we’re doing what we’re doing.  The daily grind becomes a true grind.  There’s no joy in our work.  There’s no joy in our kids.  There’s just a to-do list.

As John O’Leary writes in his book On Fire: the 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, “We spend the vast majority of our efforts and life focused on the how.  The how consists of the tasks, the duties, the obligations, the stuff, of life.”

On Fire

I’m providing a link to O’Leary’s book here.  I’m providing a link because I believe you should absolutely, positively, unequivocally, right now read this book.  Go.  Buy it.  Read it.

 

 

 

 

The how is not what inspires us and drives us.  The how leaves us depleted.  It’s our why that continues to push us forward.  It’s our why that gives us a reason to get out of bed on days we’d rather hide under the covers.  As O’Leary writes, “When you know your why, you can endure any how.”

Most of the leaders in the Bible knew their why.  Moses knew his task was to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.  If he had focused solely on the how, they never would have made it.  Moses probably felt like throwing in the towel several times.  But he had his why.  God had called him to a task.  Knowing his why allowed Moses to keep going, even when it seemed hopeless.

Paul knew his task was to preach to the Gentiles.  It wasn’t easy.  His life was threatened in almost every community.  He was challenged, arrested, beaten and contradicted.  However, Paul knew his why.  He wrote it over and over in his letters to the Gentile churches.  Jesus called him to preach to the Gentiles.  Knowing his why allowed Paul to endure the physical abuse, emotional turmoil and mental exhaustion of his ministry.  Knowing his why enabled Paul to follow the path that led to his execution and gave him the strength to proclaim the love of Christ the entire way.

Why is important.  When I first began to think about my “why” statement, I thought of my family.  Why do I do what I do?  Because my family needs me.  However, upon reflection, I realized that my family might not always be there.  My kids are young now, but they won’t always be.  I needed something deeper–something I could carry with me through all the phases of my life.  I also needed simplicity.  If it’s too complicated, I’m not doing it!

After a time of prayer, I came to this conclusion.  Why do I get out of bed in the morning?  Because God has work for me to do.  While simple and not profound, this statement works form me.  This statement inspires me.  This statement propels me forward.  This statement validates my “how”.

Why do I need to do the laundry?  Because it’s the work God has given me to do today.

Why do I need to post something on my writer Facebook page?  Because it’s the work God has given me to do today.

Why do I need to grind out a blog post?  Because it’s the work God has given me to do today.

Why do I need to help with a church event?  Because it’s the work God has given me to do today.

Do you see the power of the why?

Today, I want you to work on filling in the blanks in the passages below.  Take time to carefully consider your responses.  Pray over them.  Ask God to illuminate your answer.  Find your why.

Why do I ____________?   Because _______________________________.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

Confession 371: Do You Want to Die?

So the Lord isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned.  Luke 20:39 (CEV)

On Fire

Do you want to die?  This is the title of the first chapter in John O’Leary’s inspirational book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life.  It is also the question O’Leary’s mother asked him when he was nine years old, laying in an ER bed with third degree burns on almost 100 percent of his body.  Do you want to die?

Like most of us, O’Leary’s response was no. His mother went on to tell him that if he didn’t want to die, he needed to fight harder than he’d ever fought before to live.  O’Leary writes that, “Life is not about avoiding death, it’s about choosing to really live.”  He states that:

We all have that choice.  We choose to vibrantly go about life, soak it up, embrace it, and celebrate it, or we choose not to.  No one else can make this decision for us.  We get one life.  We either choose to live.  Or we choose to die. (O’Leary, 2016, pg.10)

Like many people, my life can get stuck on autopilot.  I get caught up in the daily drudgery of routine, failing to embrace and celebrate the fact that I get to make lunches for my kids to take to school.  I forget to vibrantly wash dishes and do laundry, appreciating the time and space these somewhat mundane tasks give me to reflect, to pray or even to be still.  I forget sometimes to really choose to live.

When Jesus talks to the Sadducees about life and death in Luke 20, his focus is on the resurrection (which the Sadducees didn’t believe in–it was a trick question).  Jesus is establishing, through Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush, that all of God’s children share in eternal life.  Therefore, God is not God of the dead, but of the living.

The question for us Jesus followers is whether or not our lives reflect this truth.  Do we live as people who have been given victory over death?  Or, do we live in fear of death?

I’ll be honest with you.  I often find myself living in fear of death.  I’m a total hypochondriac.  A mosquito bite in my armpit often becomes a death sentence in my mind.  If one of my boys has a stomach cramp, I immediately think there’s some sort of internal blockage.  Fortunately, I married a realist.  He calmly talks me down from the “we’re all going to die!” ledge and says helpful things like: “It’s a mosquito bite.” Or, “He ate three hot dogs.”

My fear of death prevents me from truly embracing, celebrating and vibrantly living life.  By fearing death, I’m giving death a power over my life that Jesus already vanquished.  In working to avoid death (which is impossible) I’m not taking ownership of my life.

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This is one of the key choices O’Leary lays out to ignite a radically inspired life.  We have to  take ownership of our lives.  We have to be accountable for our choices, both good and bad.   When we take ownership of our lives, we can choose the path forward.  We can choose to forgive.  We can choose to let go.  We can choose to encourage.  We can choose to build up.  We can choose to serve others.  We can choose to be present.  We can choose to enjoy the mundane tasks.  We can choose to engage others.

In short, when we take ownership of our lives, then we choose to really live.

God is the God of the living, not the dead.  Let’s choose this week to really live.

Blessings and Peace

Sara

Confession 370: Why I Don’t Read Parenting Books

Let’s hold onto the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the promises is reliable.  Hebrews 10:23 (CEB)

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I never read parenting books.  Okay, that’s not true.  I’ve read exactly one and a half parenting books since becoming a parent almost ten years ago.  It’s not that I think they’re bad. They can be very helpful.  It’s just that parenting books have a tendency to eat away at the core of my self-confidence as a parent.  In other words, they stress me out!

The truth is that when I read a parenting book, I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.  There’s so much pressure in our culture to raise intelligent, successful, emotionally mature, athletically superior, gifted, well-mannered, deep thinking kids that my almost 8 year old’s proclivity to burp on command seems a marked failure on my part.  I just can’t take it.

My general rule of thumb in parenting is to get advice from a few select friends and acquaintances who have a deep understanding of parenting (and read parenting books).  It’s so much easier for me to hear, “Maybe you can give him a list of acceptable places to burp,” from my good friend Susan, a licensed counselor, than to read the same advice in a book written by a licensed counselor I’ve never met.

The difference is that I trust my friend.  I trust her because I know her.  I trust her because she knows me.  I trust her because we’ve shared stuff; big life stuff.  I trust her because over the course of the past six years we’ve worked to develop a close friendship.  We know each other’s stories.  We share similar values and beliefs.  She understands me.  And I understand her.

Sometimes, I think we struggle to trust God because we don’t feel like he really understands us.  Trusting God can feel like getting parenting advice from someone you don’t know.  We wonder, “Does he really get what I’m going through?  Does he actually have my best interest at heart?”  Or even worse, “Is God judging me?”

The answer is no, by the way.  God isn’t judging you.  And yes, God understands what you’re going through.  Yes, he does have your best interest at heart.  The thing is, we can’t see that because, while God understands us, we don’t always understand God. God is not a trusted friend, he’s more of an ephemeral concept.  We know God’s there, but we rely on him the same way we might rely on Dr. Oz.  We watch his show a couple of times a week to pick up tips on living better.

As Jesus people, our relationship with God has to be just that–a relationship.  And, relationships take time to cultivate.  They also require a great deal of active engagement.  It’s not enough to read the Bible, we need to engage it.  We need to see our study of Scripture as a conversation with God.

Talk to God while you read.  Tell him when passages don’t make sense, or when you respectfully disagree.  Thank him for the passages that encourage you and inspire you.  Be open to advice and instruction God may be giving you as you read.

The same is true with prayer.  Praying is not something we have to stop and do at a certain time each day.  It’s something that can flow, continuously, as we engage in our daily activities.  We just need to turn our thoughts toward it.

Finally, I’ve found it immensely helpful in my times of doubt to reflect back on all of the times God has been there for me in the past.  For example, if work is slow, I remember that God has always provided the right opportunity at just the right time.

I’m never going to read parenting books.  My fragile ego can’t take it.  Fortunately, I have really great and wise friends I can call on for guidance.  I trust them.  More importantly, I trust the one who sent them.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara

Confession 369: Waiting

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40:31 (The Message Bible)

Lately, my life has been about waiting.  I’m waiting for a projected project to start.  I’m waiting to start the packing process for our upcoming move.  I’m waiting for the boys’ last day of school so we can start summer activities.  And I have to confess, I hate waiting.

Confession 280: Because God Doesn't Need You To Do His Job For Him

I think, if we’re honest, most of us don’t wait well.  It’s one of the reasons we carry our smartphones at all times.  Waiting to pick up the kids in the car line–check Facebook.  Waiting in a long grocery line–play some Words with Friends.  Waiting at the doctor’s office–read an online news brief.  We constantly keep our brains moving so we can avoid the waiting process.

The thing is, waiting–when properly engaged–can be good for our souls.

Waiting isn’t about sitting passively staring into space with glazed and unfocused eyes.  Waiting isn’t about boredom or laziness.  Waiting isn’t a process of doing nothing.  Rather, waiting is a process of building something.

Although it doesn’t always seem like it, waiting is a very active time.  It’s God’s construction zone.  But when we seek to fill the waiting space with busyness, we slow the construction process.

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When God asks us to wait, it’s often because he’s working on something.  Our role in the process is to use our waiting time to prepare ourselves for what’s ahead.  We do this, not by attaching ourselves to our smartphones or binging out on PBS soap operas (although, I really do love catching up on Call the Midwife!).  Rather, we prepare ourselves by using the waiting time as a sort of Sabbath period.

This is time God is giving us to draw closer to him so that we might be strengthened, renewed and ready to run wherever God is calling us to run.

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to his disciples and told them to go back to the upper room and wait.  After all of the anxious waiting the disciples had done during Christ’s arrest, trial and crucifixion, they were told to wait again.

The disciples returned to the upper room and waited, but they weren’t passive.  Scripture tells us that the disciples met together and prayed “with a single purpose in mind”. (Acts 1:14 CEV)  The women and Jesus’ brothers met with them.  Together, they prayed and prepared for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the work of spreading the gospel message.  God used this time of waiting to prepare the disciples (and all those who would work with them) to go out and spread the news of Christ’s resurrection to all the world.

I don’t know what you’re waiting on right now.  Perhaps, like me, you’re waiting for a job to start.  Maybe you’re waiting to close on a house.  You could be waiting for test results, or preparing to send your firstborn to college.

Whatever waiting period you find yourself in now, I would challenge you to wait with purpose.  Take this time to draw closer to God.  Let his Spirit strengthen you, renew you and prepare you to fly.

Blessings and Peace,

Sara