I hate waiting. Hate it. I don’t like waiting to find out what I made on that essay I just turned in. I don’t like waiting to find out if I got accepted for that scholarship. I don’t like waiting for that trip we have planned for the summer.
It’s the worst, really. I’m so set on that thing that is to come, but it isn’t here yet, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I also hate sitting still and doing nothing. Now, don’t go misunderstanding me and think that I always have to be doing productive things. Because, let me tell you, I’m the queen of wasting time. But even as I’m wasting time, I’m still doing stuff. It might be completely unnecessary stuff and it might be stuff just to fill the time, but it’s still something.
In all of this hullabaloo and by keeping my eyes set ever on the next big thing I have planned in the future, I’m missing out on the periods in between.
The periods in between one big event and the next. The periods between one fun exercise and another. The periods between completing one task and starting the next. The periods of quiet, of waiting, of learning and growing.
But y’all, it’s during those in-between periods that God does some of His best work.
Think about it. It’s when we have some time in between things that we’re able to prepare for the next thing on our to-do list.
If we didn’t have time between one vacation and the next–as fun as that may sound–how would we plan the next vacation? And if we don’t have time to plan it, aren’t we running a huge risk that we’re missing out on what could be some pretty great tourist spots that we would’ve known about if we had only taken a little bit of time to research beforehand?
What about those few extra minutes before a test we can use to do some last minute studying? Isn’t that some sweet time to prepare ourselves for what’s to come?
When it seems like we’re in a season of waiting, in an in-between period in life, let’s not sit idly by, waiting on the next big thing to come, and let these precious moments slip away. They’re moments that we can spend preparing ourselves for whatever it may be that God has planned for us next.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13
As “strangers in the world” (2:11), our entire earthly lives are waiting on the day that Jesus comes again–this is that hope that Peter talks about above. We live in this world, work here, study here, but this isn’t our home. We belong with Jesus Christ.
So, these temporal lives of ours are, in a way, “in-between periods.” That doesn’t mean they’re pointless or that should we sit around wasting them. Rather, we should do just the opposite. We should strive to prepare ourselves and prepare this world for Christ’s second coming.
Later, Peter tells us to “crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (2:2). The first and most important step in this preparation is furthering our understanding of Jesus. Reading Scriptures. Spending time with Him. After all, how can we prepare ourselves and those around us for the second coming of a Jesus whom we know nothing about?
So why don’t we use the seasons of waiting in our lives to strengthen our walk with Christ? For some examples of what that might look like, I’ll share how I’m in an in-between period right now and how I think God might be using it to sharpen His sword in me.
- I’m currently waiting to see what sort of career God has planned for me.
I’m in college, and while I have an idea for a double major and minor (math, international studies, and Arabic), I don’t exactly know how I’m going to put those skills to use in the workforce after I graduate. Fortunately, I have a few years to figure it out. In the mean time, though, I can focus on the passions and skills God has given me, fostering them, so that when the time comes, I can put one or more of them to use in a career.
- I’m currently waiting for the right godly guy to come along.
It’s so easy to want to jump from one guy to the next. “Oh, that guy didn’t work out? Okay, well, here’s another great guy.” And on and on and on, never stopping to breathe.
But the single life can be pretty amazing. I’m learning that I can use this time as a single girl (and a content single girl–as in, not crushing on yet another guy and longing for him to ask me out) to really deepen my understanding of God’s love and to get a firm grasp on my identity in Christ. Focusing on this now will lead to stronger relationships in the future. It’s some pretty sweet stuff, y’all!
The point of all this is: Let’s be careful to not waste the in-between periods of life. Use the down-time to further our relationships with Christ and prepare ourselves for whatever might be coming our way in the future.
Because there will be times of action (as Peter says in 1:13 above) and trial. If we don’t use the time we have to prepare before that action comes our way, how will we be able to succeed in the battle? Can an army win a fight if they never train?
What about you guys? Are you currently in a period of waiting? And how can you use that to further your relationship with Christ and possibly prepare yourself for whatever it may be that God has planned next for you?