Thursday, October 24, 2013

A different season, a different place

For the past week and a half, I have found myself in a foreign land.  I am a runner.  And right now, I cannot run.  My foot is healing from an overuse injury in training.  God held it together long enough to finish the marathon. But now, I rest.

In the past few days, I have driven along some of my favorite running routes, so familiar that I know every turn, every hill, even the coming up on the places where the trees flank the road like a cathedral.  I long to pull over on the side of the road, abandon the car, and finish that path on foot. 

But this is not the time.

There are so many things I would like to be doing.  But this is not the time for them.  I am in a different season for the time being.  I am in a different place.  Not a bad season, not a bad place,  just different.  And God has some different things for me to be doing right now.

I can be so distracted by where I was before -- or where I want to be -- that I can become totally ineffective where I am right now.  It is so easy to get bogged down in the grumblings of the "if only's" and the "what if's" and "why this, God?" that I miss His assignment for the now.

"Show me, LORD, what I need to be doing in this place, in this day, in this not-what-I-would-have-chosen situation." 

We all have gifts that we long to be used.  God may be in the process of developing yet another.  And this different place and season may be how He will do it.

When our first daughter was born, I remember a frustration creeping into my joy when I said out loud to this infant, "I can't get anything done around here!"  My gaze fell on her uplifted face.  And I realized SHE was what I was doing right now. Other things will come someday, or be set aside for a season, but when we get the big rocks in first, everything else falls into place.  It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.  God fulfills.

And so, be it the prophet Jeremiah in chains ("bound in chains along with all the captives"  Jeremiah 40.1), or the apostle Paul in prison ("I am an ambassador in chains" Ephesians 6.20), or simply a runner who can't run, God has something deeper going on. 

It may not be what we would have chosen,
but it is an opportunity
       such as we wouldn't believe.

Let God use you in it.

...fulfill your ministry.

                 1 Timothy 4.5

(whatever that may be today)

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