We sing a lot of songs about God being there in the hills and valleys, the trials and the triumphs. We don’t talk a lot about the ordinary days. We need to, because most of our lives are going to be the ordinary days.
I’ve spent so much of my twenties in discontentment. Before I had my second child, I had been working at a very high-stress job, but because I made the majority of our income at the time, I couldn’t leave. My husband and I had a dream that I would stay home with the children and he would find a better-paying job, but he searched and searched for almost three years and couldn’t find one that met the pay he would need to support all of us. This job I had was extremely demanding. I would sometimes work for an entire month without having a day off. I’d get calls on sick days or holidays and have to work from home. I had to travel a lot. It was all-consuming and it broke my heart because I barely had time to spend with our daughter. What I remember most about that time was that I placed myself in “the waiting room” as I call it. You know the place - the place we put ourselves in when we put our foot down with God. Our hearts basically say, “Well, I’m done here and I’m going to sit back and wait for you to change things.”
He was changing things, but not the things I was asking for. He was changing me. You are always going to be more important to the Lord than the miracle you’re contending for. Like a good Father, He works all things together for our good. Sometimes that won’t align with what we think is best for us at that moment, or what we want at that moment, but it’s always, always, always what we need. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
When we put ourselves in the waiting room, when we grow complacent and apathetic in our life because we aren’t in a peak season, we cause ourselves to miss out on the blessings of the Journey. We miss out on the joys of the day-to-day. We miss out on the gentle correction of the Holy Spirit.
Once I opened myself up to that correction and allowed the Lord to soften my heart, things changed rapidly. What I learned in that season was that I was desiring a peak season, a dream of mine, much more than I was desiring Him. I’d placed what He could do for me ahead of what I could offer Him. I’d stopped praying as Jesus taught us and showed us, “Thy will be done”. I’d stopped trusting His perfect timing and perfect plan for my life and began trusting my own plan.
I’d missed out on the joy of the journey. Walking with Him through the day-to-day, through the valleys and on the peaks will feel the same if your eyes are on Him. I want to live in such a way that when we reach a peak He has to remind me because He is first and foremost the desire of my heart.
I remember praying one night and instead of asking Him to change my circumstances, I asked Him to change my attitude about my circumstances. I remember pouring out my heart to Him and letting Him know how much I wanted this to happen, but telling Him I trusted in His plan and purpose for my life and I wanted His will to be done. I was ready for the peak for the first time and once we are ready, He doesn’t hesitate.
In July of that year I gave birth to my son, and then before my maternity leave was even over, my husband found the job, which meant, once we welcomed our son into our family, I did not have to return to working outside the home after all. His timing was perfect. It was a smooth transition and I am so thankful that He was patient with me during those years. I’m so thankful He didn’t place me on the peak before I was ready. If He did that, I would require the peaks to be happy. He knows it’s only when we delight in Him that we find true and lasting joy. I am so thankful for such a good and wise Father.
I challenge you this weekend to fix your eyes on Him. We often need to check our hearts to make sure He is the prize, the desire, and the priority. Then, enjoy the journey. There’s a beautiful song I love that goes
“And He walks with me and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known”