It’s hard to live in Minnesota in March. Already weary from the long winter, it feels so unfair to wake up to forecasts of snow, cold and rain while the rest of the country is walking on sunshine. We are graced with a handful of sunny days, where forty degrees feels hopeful and we all run around in t-shirts. But everyone knows these quasi-spring days are just a mirage. We have to wait through more weeks of cold, snow, mud, rain, wind and even flooding before we see green grass.
Like a Minnesota March, my spirit also finds itself in a drawn out season of waiting on God. I have been walking with a metaphorical thorn in my flesh for a long time. It has been a wilderness experience to be sure. I feel the warm breezes of change that hint at a coming resolution and it gives me great hope. But though relief is imminent, I don’t know when or what it will look like. And in this middle place, where God has stayed my spirit and called me to wait a bit longer, waves of hard things keep crashing.
I could try to push forward with decisive action. I have never been one to flinch in the face of a decision. And Lord knows I hate doing nothing. But this season has a purpose. And what’s more, the wilderness journey has done its work in strengthening my spirit and teaching me patience. So I am settling in for the wait.
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22
In March, we have to keep living and moving even as we wait for spring. The same is true in seasons of waiting on God. And in this unique space fraught with tension and hope, I have found comfort in some life-giving practices. These have sustained me not only in the wilderness, but in this middle place as well.
I have a community of friends who faithfully listen, pray for me, encourage me and hold me accountable. They have been my sounding boards, my sources of endless laughter, my cheerleaders and prayer warriors. It is crucial to surround yourself with trusted friends and confidants when you are waiting out a storm.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
I have been diligent in prayer and have spent more time face down before God in abject humility and surrender than I have in a long time. Through this, His healing is reaching the deepest spaces of hurt, confusion and longing in my spirit. If you are weary on the journey, pray without ceasing and trust that God is working for you and in you at all times.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
The world is unpredictable, but Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His promises are true and His Word is everlasting. I have immersed myself in the truth of God’s Word and let it anchor me, instruct me, hold me accountable and reassure me of God’s promises.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
My friends have sent me two albums I have played on repeat. (here and here) Music serves as a vehicle for praise and also a medium for truth and hope to be washed over your aching heart. It reminds you that God wins every battle and He is worthy of praise and adoration in every circumstance.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
I finally admitted that I needed someone outside my circle of friends to speak into the situation. In this, I received the gift of a fresh perspective and clearer direction from someone I trusted. It was a relief to know that I no longer had to carry the burden alone. If you can’t see a way out of your circumstance, I urge you to find a trusted pastor, leader or counselor to seek wise counsel.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
If you are in a hard season of waiting, remember these basic practices. God is always at work and its likely He is using this season to grow you. And in His perfect timing, your spring will come.