The Holding Pattern

plane

If you’re anything like me, when it comes to the problems and challenges that life hurls at you, you immediately find yourself going into “fix it” mode.  Let me get honest and say that there are those occasional moments of difficulty when I’d rather bury my face in a blanket, and just stay there until whatever it is passes; but for the most part I’m a problem solver.  I try my best not to be a human who sits on the sidelines of life, and laments about all of my miseries.  Those people just suck the energy out of life, and the older I get, the less patience I have with them.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days I’d like to complain and whine, and have people say, “Poor you”, but that’s just not really what I want to put out there into the universe.  I’d much rather be someone who can look a challenge square in the face, point my finger straight at it, and say, “I’m coming after you!”  While this sounds like a good idea on the surface, I’ve realized that this is a condition which can have both positive and negative results.  How?… you may be asking.  I’ll explain.

It may sound noble to want to dig in and start solving the problems of the world right away, but in doing so, it can be easy to make hasty decisions in our desire to tunnel through.  There have been situations in life that are set before me, in which I just know instinctively (God) what I’m supposed to do.  Other situations take a bit longer- more weighing out, more talking to God before the right decision reveals itself.  But what about those other times?  The times when you are in the middle of something confusing or complex, and you simply have no idea what you are supposed to do.  I feel it’s safe to say that most of us have found ourselves in this predicament more than a few times in our lives.  It’s like you wake up in the middle of a dense forest, and there are a number of paths you can take.  Which do you choose?  How do you know which is the right one?

As a Christian, our default in all things should be that we turn to God first.  There are over sixty Bible verses that speak specifically to us waiting on the Lord.  One of my favorites is:

Psalm 130:5-6

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

I recall very clearly one of my biggest lessons in learning to handle complicated life decisions came in the midst of my divorce.  There are SO MANY decisions you are having to make, and needing to make them in a relatively short amount of time.  The pressure I felt was often overwhelming, as every decision that I made had a direct effect, not only on my own life, but also on the lives of these two little beings I love.  I remember that somewhere around life decision #458 at that time, I called my mom, broken, and just said, “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.”  In that moment she gave me what I consider to be some of the best advice for living that I’d ever received.  She very gently, and matter-of-factly stated these words, “When you don’t know what you are supposed to do, you do nothing.  You wait.”

Okaaaay?…. I wait?  Has she met me?  Is she aware that my entire life is a ticking time bomb of deadlines these days, and I don’t really have time to sit around and just wait?  The idea of waiting goes against what my natural instincts tell me to do.  The bulldoze through part of me didn’t like the advice she was sharing, and immediately started with the all the “but what if…” that I could think of.  She knew me well enough to know that I’d need some further convincing, and so she told me that God has a perfect plan for my life.  He is guiding me everyday, even on the hard days when life gets so loud that it’s difficult to hear His voice.  She explained that when we make decisions which are in line with God’s will for our lives, we are given a peace about those decisions.  So, if our soul is at unrest over something, that means the decision hasn’t clearly been revealed yet, and to just sit back, relax, hold on, and pray.  Okay.  I get it now.  I’m going to maintain a holding pattern until God speaks to me so clearly that there’s no denying what He’s telling me.  A bit of a scary prospect, if I’m being honest, but one which I think will challenge me to grow myself in faith… in having faith in Him.

I know several people at this very moment who are facing an obstacle (or obstacles) which seem insurmountable.  I know how scary it can be, and how lost you can feel.  Your body and mind get weak from all of the thinking and worry.  I’m writing this today to offer encouragement.  You, my friend, are far from lost, and far from alone.  This mighty God we serve is your strong tower.  He is your resting place.  He has all of the answers that you need to all of the problems that you have.  Today, I’m giving you the permission that you need to give yourself- permission to set it all on autopilot, and maintain a holding pattern.  This is the time that you should dig deep into His word, and be having daily dialogue with Him about what the plan is going to be for you.  Quiet your world.  Listen to what He’s saying to you.  Don’t feel forced or pressured into making decisions which you may one day regret.  Our deadlines and time tables are not obstacles for God.  He works things through in His perfect time.  Your responsibility is to stay up, keep circling, and be patient until He gives you your landing instructions.

Happy flying! Be blessed!

 

 

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Judy Kirkpatrick
    Dec 21, 2016 @ 15:22:50

    Such sage words!!! We all need to remember to listen and wait!!!

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  2. La'Dawn Murrell
    Jan 29, 2017 @ 18:10:57

    I just read this for the first time and it is truly amazing how God times things. I am a control freak a lot of times. Patience is not my strong characteristic. I needed this reminder. I needed that verse. It is so hard to just wait, but sometimes we also need that waiting for prayer and meditation on his Word.

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