You have Gifts, God-given passions and talents. You use them for His Kingdom. You create something amazing, are the catalyst to change in someone’s life, or serve in the background as others take the stage. It’s exhilarating. It’s a powerful wave- majestic in its beauty and a powerful force. You may be unaware of the waves you make as God works though you. But those watching walk away inspired and amazed, touched and affected by the immense force as the Spirit uses you to do what seems natural to you.
Next comes The Lull. For a space of time, you feel unproductive. Maybe it’s weeks. Maybe months. Maybe a year and counting. You wonder what is wrong with you. Why aren’t you doing what you love to do? Why aren’t you ‘working for the Lord’ with the gifting He has blessed you with? You feel dry, empty, or uninspired. Guilt sets in as you realize you probably should ‘get back to it’.
Let’s think about the Wave. Have you stood with your toes in the water on the seashore, tasting salt on your lips, wind whipping through your hair, and hearing the pounding of the waves crashing on the shore? Bright sunlight creates dancing diamonds on the dark-blue expanse. It’s mesmerizing. Over and over water crashes on the shore, receding, then gathering its force to pound the shore once more with explosive power.
What’s interesting about the Wave is that there is this time of glory. This time for a showy display of power. Something is happening! Loudly, it grabs your attention. And then the Lull. The ocean is quiet. Seemingly unproductive. But as you stand barefoot, with your toes in the sand, you feel the strength of the water receding, leaving your feet buried. The ocean is gathering the water for another Moment of Glory. This time of seeming stillness is a Preparation for the next big action. The next Wave. And the cycle continues.
In between the Waves, when it seems as though you are unproductive and merely inactive, remember that it is during this Lull that the Lord is preparing you. Teaching you. Refreshing you. If the Spirit is powering His Work within you, there is no striving. There is only this Purposeful Availability as He works His plan in and through you, in His way and in His timing. He is in charge of the Wave and the Lull. It is a beautiful dance. A dance of work and rest in which He powers both. You cannot help but do what He has made you to do, when He is the one powering You from within. It is nearly involuntary. You find yourself operating in your passions, talents or giftings, because it is a natural outpouring of His Spirit through you.
So, darling child of the Most High King, rest in the Lull, and watch for when He powers the next Wave to accomplish His purposes. It’s a wild ride.
I’ve experienced a long Lull. I’ve been resting. Watching. Waiting. Somewhere along the way, a long time ago, I just knew that life is about Producing. Accomplishing, working for a purpose, meeting goals, pleasing others, and moving further along on this journey of life. But to what end? To have more, to become better, to show my worth?
God’s Favor + My Production = My Worth.
Hmmmm. That doesn’t sound right, does it?!
This last whole year I’ve been learning to rest – not for the sake of readying myself for the ability to produce more, but for the sake of nothing at all except rest. Well that part has taken fifteen months. Full discloser: I definitely was resting for the sake of being ready to get back to work for Jesus. I’ve had to learn to find a rhythm of living that doesn’t include production. It’s weird I must admit. After my One Year of rest was finished, I began to ask Jesus, “Ok, what work do you have for me to do?” I began to wonder, how do I do the things Jesus did? We are supposed to live our life, fashioned after His life, right? Loving God and Loving Others. Making disciples. Telling people about Jesus. What does that look like for me, in 2023? And then one day, He opened my eyes. I had just finished giving a massage to a dear woman who has been in pain for many years. Afterward, we sat and visited over coffee. I was so thrilled and honored she had trusted me to work on her body to relieve some of the pain she had been suffering. On my way home Jesus whispered to me, “You’re doing it. You are naturally loving others and doing the work I have for you to do, because I’m moving you to do it!” I don’t have to try. You don’t have to try.
He works in and through us so often- and we don’t even realize it.
I know that intimacy with Jesus is the key to living in the Spirit. And I wish I could tell you that I’ve found my way into this amazing, out-of-this-world experience of intimacy with Jesus- but I can’t.
What I have learned, is that the ordinary, everyday life is intimacy with Jesus.
I am learning to see, to notice and to recognize that He is already intimate with me. For so long my eyes have been busy looking for Him ‘out there’, externally, hoping to draw closer to Him, when all along He has always been and always will be, right here- inside. In each present moment. In the Garden Within.
Thank you so much for this reminder of the beauty of doing what comes next. When we love God, recognize and enjoy His presence in us, whatever we do will be of Him. The natural giftings will gently touch, heal and change lives because He is the power through us, Just as it is His power in the wave, so it is His rest in the lull. What a stunning illustration!
It truly is a place of rest- knowing that what we are doing really is coming from Him.
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