The Israelites waited in the desert 40 years to see the fulfillment of God’s promise to them. The prophetess, Anna, waited 84 years, practically a lifetime, to see her long-awaited Messiah come, not as a mighty warrior king but as a toddling peasant child. The apostles of the early church waited five, 10, 50 years for the return of the Lord Jesus. They each died, still waiting.
words + photographs TARA HATHCOCK
Compared to the Christians of old, why is it so hard to wait for just a little while, right now?
Maybe you’ve been waiting for years. Maybe you don’t even know what you’re waiting for, but you’re convinced you’ll know it when you see it. Are you waiting for a specific event you dread but know is coming – the death of a loved one? The loss of a home, job, or spouse, maybe? Or are you waiting for something else?
God sometimes places a burden on our hearts to let us know change is necessary and that it’s coming, whether we seek it or not. What He usually doesn’t tell us is what or why.
Let me tell you a little story about a girl who spent 16 years in a single profession, in a single place. This girl, for 14 years, was content to enjoy her job and enjoy the people she worked with. She felt no desire to move on in the world, until one day, a strange disquiet pricked her heart. It began as a tickle, an idea that maybe her job wasn’t as fulfilling as it used to be. She found her mind wandering, not because the job was easy, but because she didn’t have to think anymore. She found herself sleepwalking through her days. Mindless. Automatic. Bored.
And then the feeling began to grow. No longer was it a stray tickle, a fleeting idea that blew away on the first breeze of her next thought. It dug down deep inside, down into her soul where she could no longer be content doing the same thing, in the same place, over and over. She needed that ubiquitous more.
With 40 years of career still stretching out in front of her, our heroine began looking at new professions. Applications were submitted and as the rejections piled up, that feeling of discontent became a deep, aching misery.
She was trying, wasn’t she, God? Why would You allow such an all-encompassing feeling of dread to persist?
There was no answer.
So she turned her mind to mental pursuits while she continued the endless cycle of applications and rejections. A voracious reader, she had always wanted to write. The blog craze was blowing up, and websites were always looking to pick up freelance articles. Why not give that a shot, she thought. That answer, at least, was swift: With too much freedom, she quickly veered off topic. But you know what that off-topic writing gave her? It presented her the opportunity to start the first of three novels. That’s right, three. She became enamoured with the idea of independent writing and started her own indie publishing house. She’s helped edit and publish local author works, as well as her own fiction series. She has another fiction series in the research phase. And her aching feeling of misery and discontent disappeared as quickly and completely as it had appeared.
In case you were wondering, our girl finally was offered a new job she had been driven towards. By the time she was hired, she had learned a few things. She had learned God sometimes answers questions right away, and sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes His answers come as a slow, meandering walk to distant places over a long time. Sometimes He doesn’t place you in a new job because the new job isn’t the goal. The goal is to discover a passion He’s placed deep inside of you, a passion He wants you to use for His glory. A passion you would be too terrified to follow unless that terror was the less painful path of least resistance. Sometimes you get the mighty earthquake, and sometimes you get the roaring fire. Oftentimes, you get the still, small voice instead. Imagine what our walks with God would miss if He didn’t sometimes whisper quietly and allow us to find our way to where He was pointing? TH
A believer since the age of 10, Tara Hathcock‘s goal has always been to honor God with her service, first as a healthcare worker and now as an author. Visit quiet + kin, a publishing company in Springfield, Missouri, founded by Tara and her brother, Trey, committed to helping authors succeed.
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