As school ends for the year and summer break approaches, the anticipation for going on vacation or even weekend trips with family and friends grows exponentially. Even as an adult, I remember a few years ago counting down the days (and hours) until I left with a group of co-workers for the beach.
Still, no matter if the destination is near or far, or we will be gone for two or ten days, there is a preparation process that must take place. Thus, today we are going to look at how this process parallels our hearts in seasons of waiting.
Just as we go through our closets to pack our luggage ensuring we have a bathing suit that fits and a nice outfit to take pictures in, we see examples of preparing throughout scripture. Most recently, I think of the episode in The Chosen series where James and John prepare a field to plant in by tilling the soil, removing rocks, etc. We do not have to look far to find more illustrations: Noah and the Ark, the building of the Temple, traveling to distant lands, and the management of finances.
Each of these tasks from packing a suitcase to making a budget are relatively simple, yet do not happen automatically. In order to enjoy the pool or eating of the crops, there is physical effort that must take place.
Likewise, in our seasons of waiting, we often need to stop making excuses, get off the couch and obey whatever God may be calling us to do. Maybe it is doing a deep cleaning of your house. Maybe it is selling your car. Maybe it is going to the doctor for the check-up or preventative care testing you have been putting off. Maybe it is getting on the phone and connecting with old friends. Maybe it is putting down the donut and going for a walk. Maybe it is sitting down to have tough conversations with your spouse or kids.
Regardless of the task, we can trust that if God asks us to do it, He will make a way for it to be accomplished. So, the first question is: Are you willing to obey Him?
When we act in obedience and are “physically prepared”, we are more apt to move to the next phase of the preparation of our minds, I’d like to refer to as a posture of openness. For when “our own bag is packed for vacation”, the mind we once had used to focus on ourselves can now be diverted to see the needs of others. It is in this place of waiting the Lord often gives us opportunities to be a blessing we would have missed otherwise.
For example, your season of waiting may be because you were laid off from work. Although when your friend has a baby or elderly neighbor falls and breaks a hip and is in need of help, you have the time to go and be a blessing. Or if you are the one who is sick or recovering from surgery, then your season of waiting could be used to write notes of encouragement to others or extra time to pray for our nation and leaders as you lay in your bed.
Once we are open to the Lord’s hand and opportunities, we then can hone in on our heart and cultivate feelings of expectancy as we prepare for Him not only here on Earth, but for all eternity.
This is not to say all will happen in the timing we desire, just as we cannot rush our vacation to arrive any sooner. Although, Philippians 1:6 says we can “be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.
Similar to the vacation that ends up being better than we expected, our God “ is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).”
Therefore, do not grow weary or become disheartened in your waiting.
Whether it lasts five days or five years, may you press into the Lord in PRAISE and PRAYER, even as you endure the PRUNING and PREPARATION processes.
For we can trust that the Lord is with us each step of the way and He is faithful to fulfill his promises, thus there is a PURPOSE for all.
Much love and prayers always, Alisha
*Here are the last five songs of praise for our waiting.
– “Open the Eyes if My Heart” by Michael W. Smith
– “Getting Ready” by Maverick City
– “There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp
– “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe
– “In Christ Alone” by Natalie Grant
Have questions or in need of prayer? I would love to connect with you via Instagram @mess_2_masterpiece, my website (alishascroggins.com), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or feel free to comment below!