We spent a whole session of Beth Moore’s Esther study camped out on those six words.
I’d heard them before, quoted over and over, cliché like so many other words Christians repeat endlessly and without thinking.
But that night, they were branded on my soul.
I’m struck, occasionally, by all the orchestration and organization God must have handled for one experience of my life to go the way it did. And by that, I mean like the conversation I had with a friend when it began trivial as whipped cream and went deep into the Mariana Trench about five minutes later.
I had just come back from a mission trip to Madrid where we taught English and pre-evangelized. I was blinded by the glitz and glamour of Paris (through which we’d flown on the way there) and the sinking feeling I’d spent two weeks doing ultimately nothing at all. I was bitter and I was angry.
Grace is an anvil to the face, I keep telling myself, and it was that night, in that conversation, for my good, for His glory, and for, truly, Lord only knows what effect through the generations.
Jesus doesn’t walk us through desert seasons because He doesn’t care or because He’s amused. Jesus is the One who spent forty days literally walking a desert season. He knows how we feel; He knows our temptations and fears and I daresay He knows the precipice on whose edge we wobble when we are about to fall into failure.
I’m beginning to ask two questions. First, Jesus, what now? Not in a casual or irritated way, but thoughtfully, carefully. Like Mary, I’m pondering the answers to my questions.
This is particular apt for being single. Jesus, friends and family are getting married, but I’m not. So what now? What do you have for me here?
I spent 2014 roaming the US, celebrating new marriages with M and my cousin C, and just when I thought the crazy was over and I’d be sliding through fall into the new year, I moved and started working with high schoolers at church.
Last year I wrote about waiting and the desert season, and this year I’m realizing a lot of the limbo has morphed into the adventure and fruition of which I’d dreamed, although it looked a lot different than I’d imagined.
Because of that, I’m learning to ask a second question: Lord, what next? First asked in desperation, I now ask this with eager curiosity and rich anticipation. There are some adventures tentatively perched on my horizon, and while I’d love to rip the wrapping paper off of them to find out what they are, I’m learning to rest gracefully in the unknown and keep my eyes on the work He’s placed in front of me today.
It’s a hard work, but it’s a good work.
What’s your hard, good work this season? What is God teaching you as you move through it?