Sitting the bench isn't fun.
Times of waiting. Seasons, they're called. We wanna be in the mix. Using our talents, being a part of the action. What purpose do they serve and just how long can we expect to sit on the sidelines?
Depends on God's timing, and a whole lot on us and our hearts.
There was a time when I was outraged at the Israelite's outright stubbornness. Just obey! Just rest and trust and believe. Forty years? How unbelievably dense can a group of ungrateful people be? How many miracles did God have to show them? How many times did He have to bail them out of what they got themselves into? Who watches their captors endure plaque after plaque, while they themselves are divinely protected? And still the constant rebellion? Frogs, locusts, blood, death? Those Israelites should have left Egypt skipping on a spiritual high, straight for the Promised Land, fully expecting no less than happily ever after.
Instead, they wilderness wandered. The trip of reportedly eleven days or so, took forty years. Unfathomable.
Then, a year ago I was at a writer's conference when an attendee asked how long I'd been writing. "More than forty years." As soon as the words left my mouth, I choked back tears of realization. "Oh, my gosh!" I stammered in disbelief. "I'm an Israelite!"
I thought of the years I'd cried and pouted and at times refused to write, because of course, I'd show God. If He wasn't working it out for me to write full-time, I'd ignore His gifts. How many miracles did He have to show me? How many times did He have to bail me out of what I'd gotten myself into? How much divine protection did He provide, and still. Years of long periods of lack of trust and rebellion.
In His timing, when our heart's are right, He opens our eyes, doesn't He. That bench gets hard; it's boring and tiresome. And can be anger provoking. Sometimes the splinters of life work their way in between us and Him and still He refuses to give us less than our Promised Land. But still. Still. The reward when we finally get it and it's His timing. Wow. Just wow. When Coach puts us in... wow.