Ever been in a conversation with someone, then all of a suddenly there’s a silent gap? That’s mostly the case when two people are talking. And I know most of us including myself feel awkward, we don’t know what to do with ourselves, and we want to fill that gap with something,…anything really, just as long as we don’t have to sit there silent looking into a blank space.
One of the things that I’ve learnt in my walk with the Lord is that: in a change of life’s season, there’s often a break between the old season and stepping into the new season.
So often we want to fill that break with something because we are not used to not being busy, or we think being busy is good for us. It’s even worse in our generation of the “hustle culture”, where being busy is perceived as “cool”, or sometimes we feel useless when everyone around us is busy except us.
I remember coming out a very busy season. I left that season not knowing what the future looked like. During the silent gap I looked for things to do. In the mornings, after taking the kids to school, I would dress up as though I have to be somewhere, and I would actually go somewhere to “fix things”, to “do stuff”, just anything to make myself feel like I had a productive day “while I wait for God to reveal what it is that He has called me out of that season for”, I would tell myself. Meanwhile God was probably also saying “let Me wait until she’s done with her madness, until she decides to come to me so we can get to the bottom of this”. Being in a surrounding where people look at you as though you’ve lost your mind or you’re just lazy was also not helping, especially when they recognized the financial need in your life.
Eventually, I ran out of things to fix and things to do. I then became frustrated because the slow pace was not what I was used to. In my frustration I asked God “What now? What did you sit me down for?” It was then that He started to prepare me for the next season and even reveal to me what it would look like. All of a suddenly I looked forward to being at home alone so that I can process things, deal with things, and even work on certain things. It didn’t matter what others said because I had heard from the Lord and every other voice had no effect on me.
You see, those breaks are mostly the time God gives us to pause and process, to reflect, and be prepared for the new season. Imagine jumping from one thing to another without taking a breather, we’d probably get exhausted. Also sometimes, even when we understand the break part and the need for it, we then want to determine how long it should be, then before God is done we think we are ready, we have rested enough. There’s a saying that goes “it’s not over until God says so”. That saying doesn’t only apply to perseverance, but also to obedience.
Just like with the silent gap in a conversation – it is to reflect on the conversation, where is it going, how it got there or even think about what the other person has said. Jumping from one thing to another mostly just makes us tired, and a lot of time we try and do that it would take some form of supernatural creativity for what we say to fall in the same context or even make sense.
We therefore need to learn to let these gaps and breaks to take their cause.
Which reminds of the season of lockdown that we are coming out of, some of us spent this break in so much fear of being alone and therefore invested all our time and efforts in creating a whole new routine, new activities, or even a whole new life. And it’s all good things. Those things are highly recommended. Some other things that we spent our time on are things like being the Church in an extraordinary time, slotting ourselves into the new and different church structure, and pursuing and making sure we have safe boundaries of community around us to make sure that we are not alone. All excellent, infact that’s how it should be. No one should be alone.
But somewhere, somehow, in doing all that Jesus fell at the bottom of the list. The one whom it is supposedly all about ended up at the bottom of the list! Or did not even make the list. His presence was left behind.
Exoduse 33:15 – Moses refused to go without His presence because He knew it’s all meaningless without His presence.
It can be so easy to unintentionally miss it. I know how things can easily move from the love of Christ to the love of Christian life; the love of prayer, but barely even pray, instead we spend our time talking about prayer, discuss prayer; the talking about Jesus, but hardly talk to Jesus.
Ever thought of how your lockdown would have been like if you had sat down asked God “What now? What’s the plan?”
I remember in the process of myself and my husband pursuing these things that we felt they were key and necessary to our spiritual well-being during the time of the extended lockdown, somewhere along the line that took most of our focus, and then we felt something was off. We went back to God and I remember that evening during our time of worship and prayer time where we were even struggling to dive into His presence as though something like a wall was blocking us, He directed me to the Scripture in Revelation 2:4-5, the words that were spoken to the Ephesian church:
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
As much as we were glad to receive the revelation of what was went wrong and also felt the conviction by the Holy Spirit, it broke our hearts to realize just how we started with good intentions but because we were not careful and alert enough, we ended up leaving our Lord behind.
Just like in the Parable of 10 Virgins (Matthew 25): In our carelessness, busyness, and ignorance we can easily be like the foolish 5 virgins that woke up late from their sleep with no oil in their lamps, for they never got into the banquet and the groom said “I don’t know you”. Sounds painful, right?
Sometimes in our waiting for our groom some things can take His place in our hearts, sometimes we fall asleep in our things that we do and not realize that our lamps are running empty, our fire is dying down; sometimes we sleep even in those things that we do thinking we are advancing the Kingdom and it becomes more about these things than the One who is to come.
Now more than ever, it is very important that we stay awake and alert. Our fire needs to keep burning and we need to make sure we have enough oil.
Even as we move out of lockdown, as we realign, and as we reposition ourselves, may we do it from a place of knowing how things are with our Lord. May we be like the five wise virgins who stayed ready and alert. May we keep Jesus the King of our hearts! And may we burn for Him! AMEN.
How are you doing in this area? What has this meant to you?
Please let us know in the comments below.