I’ve been ‘on sabbatical’ for just over three months and I’ve been spending very little time at my computer. I’ve been online since 1995 and I’ve never spent so little time on my computer. The interesting (and almost scary) thing is that I’ve not been missing it at all.
Real life has been (is) full, busy and time-consuming. I have been spending time with family, reading, praying, sorting and tidying things in the house, enjoying time with my favourite five year old. And, (bliss!), I’ve been falling head over heels in love with his gorgeous baby brother who was born at home on 15 March.
On the other hand, I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about not being online and not offering support or encouragement to you lovely mothers as you work hard at homeschooling your precious children. But I have felt to wait and to listen to God. To be sure of His prompting and His will.
Last weekend I was encouraged by the message in the church bulletin. The minister was writing about waiting. Talking about the first followers of Jesus waiting for the Holy Spirit as Jesus has instructed them, this is what he said: “There are times when we, too, experience times of waiting. They can be times of uncertainty, times of being ‘in-between’, seasons which stretch our faith and patience. As such, times of waiting can be times of refining.
“Metallurgists have discovered that, in the refining of metals, changes occur in the metal during the cooling process. If the cool-down is too fast, microscopic cracks can develop in the metal that will inevitably lead to weakness and, ultimately to disaster. The cooling process in the refinement of metals is deliberately slow over several stages, in order to achieve uniform structural strength.
“The times of waiting we experience can be seasons when God, as the Great Refiner, will use a period of ‘cool-down’ to build additional strength into our lives, making us more effective for His kingdom. It’s good to understand that God is just as interested in the process He takes us through as in the final product He envisages.”
I found this encouraging. It helped me to be patient with myself and to not be ashamed of resting. To enjoy this sabbatical time, (and the precious time with the little guys in my life) allowing space for new strength to be built and for God to show me what His plans are for me.
Maybe you are also feeling like you are in a waiting place. If so, I hope this message encourages you too. And if you are feeling in need of prayer, I would count it a privilege to pray for you. (Just let me know and I’ll pray specifically for you.) Life isn’t always easy, but it IS good, and we can support and encourage each other on the journey.