Thank you for opening the door for this opportunity of discussion. It is good to hear that you recognize you are in a season of growth, as those can be the most difficult seasons to understand the whys behind our circumstances. Though we all get a thrill and feel close to God in the mountain tops where we have fresh air and clear vision, growth happens in the valleys, not as much on the mountain tops.
Some of the most encouraging testimonies are those of experienced Christians’ telling of their personal experiences of God working in their lives. I have benefited greatly just reading through this thread.
My journey with the Lord started early, and through my teens and twenties, God has moved quickly and mightily. With several bouts of depression (one after the hardest relocating move I have made, and another a six month battle right after my younger sister got married), a complete and unexpected job change (from music teaching to office secretary), then a very clear but terribly hard death of a vision, and a lifetime of continuously surrendering my desire to get married, I would have to say that what God has done in my life through those lonely and painful times has been the foundation upon which I have been able to experience His faithfulness and my personal trust in Him be established.
God works in the lives of His children so intimately and tenderly when you really consider His ways from retrospect. And before every trial, you can trace back to some sort of heart preparation He was doing for that particular season. There was one sermon in particular that latched unto my soul before these major event took place in my life, titled: “What to Do When You Don’t Know What God Is Doing” preached by Gil Bates. I want to share these summarized points here in hopes that it may be a help and an encouragement.
Taken from the story of Elijah when the Lord commanded Him to reside by the brook Cherith for a season (found in 1 Kings 17:1-9), this account can be related to a time that we as Christians will more than likely face in our journey through this life: a time right after we have had a mountain-top experience, and are settling into life with “not much going on”, or find ourselves in a valley of soul along our Christian journey.
In these times we wonder what the Lord is doing, or why “nothing is happening”, making us feel put on the sidelines in our service to Him. There are several reasons that the Lord may have us in such a place, but from our perspective, sometimes it can be hard to recognize them.
Do you just focus on what you’re doing? No, focus on Who you’re serving. This season is a devoted time set aside to focus on your relationship with God.
It is a Time of Preparation, going through the process of establishing your heart in a strong relationship with the Lord.
It is a Time of Solitude to really focus on God and seek His face.
It is a Place of Humility, submitting yourself to His will and seeking to know His heart.
It is a Place of Privacy where you can be alone with the Lord and learn to hear His voice.
It is a Time of Patience, giving your desires to the Lord and letting Him be your desire and fulfillment.
It is a Place of Protection, and opportunity to embrace the fact that wherever God has you, it is right where He wants you.
It is a Time of Provision, trusting that God is providing the lessons for you to learn right now which will someday be the foundation on which He will set you in the future.
Our focus as Christians should not be that of “ministry”, but rather turning our gaze to Christ and letting Him develop within us a life message that will bring honor and glory to Him. No matter where He has us, or what He has us doing, though we may not be able to trace His hand, we need to trust His heart with the knowledge that wherever He leads us, whatever He leads us through, it is for our ultimate good and His highest glory. Stand still and Let God Move!
I hope these thoughts are an encouragement