God sees you, even in times when things seem barren

January 28, 2020

This season can be a mixed bag for people. Some people are thrilled as they start goal setting and creating new habits. Some of us cannot wait to get to everything on our  calendar and to our to  do lists.  But there’s a number of people who might be easily overlooked this season and I want us to pay attention to these people. 

So I am writing directly to you if you are…

Someone in waiting. 

Someone whose heart is breaking. 

Someone who feels like God isn’t moving. 

Someone who is living in the “not yet” and it is painful and hard to keep a smile on your face. 

I know what it feels like to stand in the middle of this season when it feels like the world around you found reason for rejoicing and you got left behind. 

Plenty of us are in what we would call a “Winter season.” A time where things feel barren.

It’s a time when we are not quite sure what God is up to. Where we might feel forgotten or like miracles will happen for other people but not us. And in these anonymous winter seasons, God beckons us closer to him and does some necessary work. It is work I don’t think he could do in us if everything around us was unfolding perfectly. 

These Winter seasons, though sometimes hard and heartbreaking, are sacred. If you are standing in one today then keep on standing. God sees you. He hears your groans.

He knows the circumstances you are up against. 

Elizabeth is a woman in the Bible who wanted a child more than anything. We can safely assume she prayed hundreds of prayers to God for a baby but the years kept passing by. Each new year, there was no baby. I can only imagine how she must have cried out to God. 

And then, in the oldest of old age, Elizabeth is given word from God that she will have a baby. And not just any baby but John the Baptist. He would go before Jesus to alert the people that their savior was coming. What a role to play. What  a spot in God’s story. 

I am sure there was much rejoicing and thanksgiving in Elizabeth’s story after the news but I am also sure her years of waiting and praying and begging and the feelings that came with them were not dismantled in a day. 

No time is wasted by God.

The times when all you can do is cry -not wasted. The times when you see everyone else getting what you want – not wasted. The feelings of bitterness and anger and “why not me” – all of it is not wasted. God sees it and participates in all of it to grow you into the person you are meant to be for the next chapter. 

You don’t have to be prim and proper before God. You are allowed to scream and cry and get angry. God isn’t looking for the most polished version of you.

He just wants you – as real and raw as you are right now. 

I know this time might be hard for you but how have you grown? What have you seen change? What are you thankful for? These are questions we seldom ask when our life looks like incomplete homework. 

In your season of singleness– what is God teaching you? 

As you wait for the phone to ring with the results– how are you growing? 

When you take that test and, again, it is negative– what are you doing with your pain? 

I wish I had all the right words but I also am grown up enough to know that words cannot fix everything. It is still fresh on my mind all the times I spent  crying to myself because the waiting felt too hard and too painful. 

In all those times I never needed someone to resolve anything for me. I didn’t need a timeline. I didn’t need the motivational jargon. I just found comfort and solace in the people who listened to my pain, nodded their head,  and they just said, “Me too.”

Me too. 

Those two words were enough to know I was strong enough to keep standing in this unfinished story. Enough to know my prayers need not be tidy to be heard. Enough to know I would grow like crazy in this desperation and suffering and I would find even the smallest ways to be thankful for breath and life in the midst of pain. So if you are out there and you don’t know what 2020 will look like because each new day feels too hard then just know this community is full of people who are also waiting. We are sitting around the table. We are pouring more coffee and getting more comfortable. We are nodding our heads as you pour out your heart. We are whispering out loud, “Me too.”

Me too, friend. Me too.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. - James 1:2-4

Here’s a cover of I LOVE YOU LORD, sung by Sushmita Majumdar. We pray it blesses you
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