Yet A Little While
I sit here wrapping up this blog as the Summer of 2022 comes to an end. My lemon-scented candle is lit, the window beside me is cracked open, and my puppy dog is laying on the couch behind me with his weight pressed against mine. These moments of rest are necessary for my soul.
The house is silent, coffee is brewing, and I am soaking in a day of rest. In hindsight, my day couldn’t be more perfect. Quite contrary to what the last few weeks have been like for me.
Ministry is hard. Fatherhood is hard. Being a husband is hard. Life is hard. There are plenty of reasons to quit. And yet, time and time again God proves to me that I won’t always feel this way.
Sunday, I had no idea how I was going to walk up on stage and deliver the sermon God placed on my heart. In fact, I didn’t have a completed outline until 2:00 AM the morning of.
I hadn’t had time, energy, or the outline to run through the message, and so yesterday was my 100% reliance on the Holy Spirit to carry me through.
I was sharing with my wife and close friends and staff members this week that I had never felt like this before—never felt like not, preaching. The Holy Spirit gifted me with the Spiritual Gift of teaching. I feel closest to Him when I am walking people through the Word of God.
And yet, leading up to Sunday, I felt more distant from Him than I had ever felt before while doing all the “right things” to try and stay close. I've learned that sometimes doing the "right things" still leaves you empty.
I trusted that the way I have been feeling these last few weeks would pass. I trusted that the Holy Spirit would guide me through the message yesterday. And He did.
As soon as I was done preaching, the weight of the “funk” I had been feeling the last few weeks was lifted. My friend checked in on me after preaching the message a second time to see how I was doing. I responded, “The services went great. Feel like myself again.”
Even though my heart knew that the season of “funk” would pass, my brain was still struggling while journeying through the season. I’m hesitant to refer to this past season as “over,” but I am confident that even if it is not, God is still faithful.
I pull out my Bible on this beautiful day of rest and turn to the Psalms. I have been walking through the Psalms the last few weeks since the season I have been in feels eerily similar to the seasons of life David as he poured his heart out into the Psalms. I turn to Psalm 37 and find two verses that I immediately resonate with. The first is Psalm 37:3,
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (BSB)
The phrase cultivate faithfulness caught my eye, and so I paused to reflect on its meaning.
Faithfulness to God isn’t a natural trait for us. Sin has severed our natural ability to fully trust and fully rely on God. Rather, as my mama taught me, life with Jesus is more like dancing with a partner. Learning to be in sync with one another is a process that takes time, practice, and an ocean filled with mistakes. God’s dancing is perfect. Mine—as my wife can attest—not so much.
The imagery David uses to inspire his audience here is breathtaking. Much like dancing, faithfulness to God requires time, practice, and an ocean filled with mistakes. It requires us to dig deep into the soil of our roots and allow God access to all our dirt and weeds.
Cultivating faithfulness mandates that we trust God as the ultimate Gardener by giving up control of our lives and the outcomes of following Him. It’s a messy journey, one that many want to quit on because it forces them to fully surrender their will for His.
The second Psalm that caught my eye this morning was Psalm 37:10,
“Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.” (BSB)
I’ve used the word “season” a lot throughout this blog because that’s exactly what life is filled with: Seasons of changing and growing and struggling and prospering and pruning and trusting that God is still good. Some seasons last a few days, some a few years, yet God is faithful through it all.