I had BIG PLANS when I graduated Bible School of amazing things I wanted to do for God. Then I met my husband, and things changed a bit….but we still had BIG PLANS. We also had a 5-year plan – you know? Wait 5 years to have any babies. Anyone else ever have one of those? How did that work for you? Ours, not so much…
And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the Lord had given her no children. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” (I Samuel 1:4-8)
I had BIG PLANS when I graduated Bible School of amazing things I wanted to do for God. Then I met my husband, and WE had BIG PLANS of amazing things WE wanted to do for God. We also had a 5-year plan – you know? Wait 5 years to have any babies. Anyone else ever have one of those? How did that work for you? Ours, not so much…
Our 5-year plan turned into a not-quite-3-year plan. And then we had 3 babies in just over 3 years. (Can anyone say CHAOS?) Our BIG PLANS changed again, and my desires and hopes of doing something for God kept getting pushed farther and farther down the list.
“Year after year it was the same.” Have you ever desired something year after year and it never happened? And the longer that desire goes unfulfilled, the more and more discontent we become. It can even start to consume us and take over the place of ultimate importance in our lives…..even higher than God Himself. Not good!
When hope is continually deferred year after year, we can tend to devalue the season we are in and just look off to “When God when?” We underestimate the worth and importance of where we are right now, and we miss the value and purpose of where He has us now. Discontent.
I didn’t have Hannah’s problem. But I did have a hope that was deferred year after year. I saw all my friends from Bible School going off and doing amazingly wonderful things for God, and I saw me wiping noses and not sleeping and in the midst of chaos with no end in sight. (There is that comparison thing again. If you missed that post, see Facebook profiles and dirty laundry.) Discontent.
Hannah loved her husband. I loved my babies. I WANTED my babies, but there was something I valued more, and I started to devalue the season I was in because I wanted something different. I almost missed what I had because I was so focused on what I didn’t have.
I was missing the value in the little things I was doing because they weren’t the big things I WANTED to do. I did have time to study and pray and read the Word – after all, I was home ALL THE TIME!!!! But what good did it do? I didn’t get to share it with anyone. But I did….I was sharing it with my kids. I was sharing Him with my kids. And I was laying a foundation – a massive foundation – of knowing Him and His Word that I would draw on when the time came to teach. I’m so thankful He arrested my attention…
Paul wrote letters. Just letters. He answered questions, shared his heart….he wrote letters. I’ve written letters too. But not one of them has made it into the Bible. What if he skipped over that unction to write letters? What if he valued teaching and preaching and praying so much more than something as mundane as writing a letter? We would be in big trouble….and we would not have all the wonderful truths revealed to us in Paul’s epistles.
The little things matter. The season we are in right now matters. Let’s not devalue what is right in front of us…let’s seek Him and ask Him to show us the purpose of this season. Purpose is a huge distraction while we wait, and it will do amazing things for our contentment. Purpose brings contentment. Satisfaction. Peace. Joy. Today matters…..dive in!
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]…(Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP)
For more on how God uses seasons in our lives, see Seasons…they are a-changing’