Holding Pattern

My flight to Chicago years ago was delayed but we finally got in the air. Eventually, we arrived above the airport and started doing circles. There were thunderstorms passing through the area below and we couldn’t land safely. We were in a holding pattern playing ring-around-the-rosie with about 10 other planes full of equally frustrated and impatient passengers. We have places to go, things to do, let’s get on with it already!

We have been back in the States for just over 6 months now. The plan was to return, rest, reconnect, and redirect our lives to align with the vision God has given us for our future. Well, we returned, tried to rest (but we have two energetic boys), reconnected (until this social distancing thing kicked in), and began redirecting our lives by visiting camps and renovating our travel trailer. It’s the end of May and we thought we would be on the road by now. However, the camps and ministries we have been in contact with are uncertain of their summer plans, and we had setbacks in buying a truck due to the pandemic. Praise God we did purchase a truck this month though! We hope to be able to serve at Camp Berea this summer, but we are waiting on their decisions. Like many of you, we are in a holding pattern and we don’t know when we’ll be able to land to get on with our lives.

Few of us like to wait. We know from our children (who NEED that snack, or toy, or cartoon RIGHT NOW), and our own reliance on 24/7 Walmart and Same-Day Prime, that it is more and more difficult to wait because we don’t have to exercise patience very often in this age of instant gratification. (If you have a few minutes, here’s an article that puts it well:  https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-is-working-in-your-waiting.) “God wants us to learn how to follow him and put down our demanding selves — to calm that screaming child in us. One way he helps us do this is to say, “Wait.” That miserable, uncomfortable, sometimes painful state of silence is one of God’s most powerful tools to set us free. If we are willing, that is.” Just think through the biblical characters who had to wait. (You’ve all seen that inspirational poster: Abraham waited 25 years, Joseph waited 15 years, Moses waited 40 years, Jesus waited 30 years. If God is making you wait, you’re in very good company.) God promised something to them and then seemed to take FOREVER to come through. But He always came through and His people were always better off for it.
So, while the thunderstorm rages below, we must wait in our holding pattern. Since you’ve got some time: Give thanks for what God has blessed you with. Pray for those seriously affected by this pandemic. Ask God what He might be trying to show you and then wait for Him to answer. Make plans for the future, but allow God to direct your steps.