Unwanted Time with God

30 August, 2013

big treeI spent the summer recovering from back surgery. What I thought would only take a couple weeks is turning into a couple of months, and after awhile it can get pretty discouraging, and sometimes you start to wonder if there is any end in sight. So many people have it worse than me so I am not complaining, but I am saying I know what it’s like to have to wait on God, to feel pretty weak, and to not be able to make much of a contribution.

There are these times that all of us go through, and I am just now realizing that in these times we have a shot at letting it grow us and mature us or we can waste the space.  When something gets taken away, some freedom gets removed or some limitation creeps up on you, you begin to notice that there are a lot of places that God is really showing up.

Here are a few things that God may be up to when he sits you on the so-called side lines for awhile.

Reflection
I know for me this time has been a difficult space to be in, but it has provided space to look backward, inward, upward, and forward, and reflect on what God has been up to and what he is doing in me. Space, even if it is a hard space, can be a grace that we didn’t ask for but bears fruit for us.

Rest
There are times when the only way to stop is to have something stop you, which frustrates me to no end, but at some point you quit fighting it and relax into the time you have. Recovery from surgery has been that for me.

Clarity
It may be that God is using this season to give you clarity as to what he is calling you to do and be about. Space to reflect and rest can result in a clearer picture of what your next steps are.

Preparation
I have found this time to be a time of preparation for the next season. It has prepared me to address the things I have to work on, lead into, change, and celebrate.

Growing in Gratitude 
I know that my time recovering has helped me to really appreciate the things that I have been given, and the things that I get to do. Having to stop doing many things for a few weeks showed me how much I really do like what I get to do in the places God has put me.

There are more things that I could say but I would also add this- if you pay attention to those hard moments where it seems you have been set aside, you will find that God is still there doing great stuff in your life and your heart. 

One Response to “Unwanted Time with God”

  1. Phil

    Rick, thanks for this. I’m having a similar experience this summer. Burst appendix in July. Appendectomy. Then in August had a setback with an abscess (which isn’t unusual when the appendix bursts). Lots of strong antibiotics. Now about 5 weeks later just starting to get back to normal, but not there yet. I can relate to thinking that I was going to be better in a couple of weeks and it turning into over a month and now starting on two months… It definitely can get discouraging.

    But through all of this helplessness it’s been wonderful to find out what great neighbors we have. An elderly lady with health problems of her own was watering our garden when I couldn’t. A neighbor drove me to the ER when I couldn’t. Another neighbor and his young son visited me in the hospital and prayed for me when I was feeling down. Friends brought food. I don’t know if all streets are like this, but I’m really thankful to be living on this one and I’m encouraged to be a better neighbor.

    Reply

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