It’s one of those seasons. You know, the one when every one else’s life is full of exciting things; God is using them mightily to heal the broken-hearted, or teach the Word, or sing soul-stirring worship songs, or feed the hungry all over the world.

Every one else but you.

With you, nothing happens. Nada. As though God lost His voice. And you know better, but it sure feels like it.

And every time you try to do something, there just isn’t any grace flowing, and you know it. It’s like God put you on the shelf for now.

sheld

It isn’t very comfortable. It’s itchy, and lonely, and quiet, up there on the shelf. It feels  purposeless. Empty. Dusty.

So you look around, and you see the people all around you, mightily used of God. And you notice how tired she looks, that woman over there, the one who rocks those babies dying of AIDS. So you begin to pray for her. And while in His presence, you find out that she really could use a friend. So you reach out to her, and let her know that you are available to talk. And she thanks you and smiles.

And then you see the man who delivers the milk, the one to whom all the kids run because he always laughs, and he always takes time to listen to them. And then, for the first time, you see it, that sadness behind the laughter, and you wonder what’s going on at home. And you begin to pray for him. And over the next few months, the sadness leaves that place deep in his face. 

And you can’t help but hear the yelling down the street, the doors being slammed, the lock on the door, the yelling back and forth, the kids screaming at night, and your heart aches for them. So you get on your knees, pleading with God for mercy.

door closed

And your times in His Presence, they grow longer and longer. And the feeling that you are left out, it grows dimmer and dimmer. Because in the process of being with Him, and loving the woman who rocks the dying babies, and caring for the man who listens to the children, and the family hanging on by a thread, you lose yourself in Him. You find your joy in Him.

And the time on the shelf, it opens your eyes to what matters. It teaches you to live well. It leads you to compassion. And the time on the shelf, it leads to knowing Him more.

And then, one day, just like that, He calls you to hop off the shelf and go do stuff. Day in and day out. And you find that these times on the shelf, they prepared you for the Now. They infused you with His Presence.

And then you understand the shelf. And the shelf, it is beautiful. The shelf, it grew you all up. The shelf, it is necessary.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

one-thousand7#800 my friend Janet who told me to just enjoy the Lord while I was on the shelf

#801 A crisp day to talk a long walk

#802 A successful Life Coaching session  

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 Home, SDG, Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing Home, Play Dates with God, Monday Musings, Hear it on Sunday,Inspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s Story, Into the Word, In and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday,Titus2Tuesdays, Extraordinay, Lessons from Ivy, Denise in Bloom, Sweet Blessings, Faith Filled Friday, Finding Joy, WholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,