y’all, it’s cold outside. unusually cold season for arkansas, i think. i am loving the randomly warm days, but it makes it even harder to go back to puffy coats and layers upon layers and the dread of driving while your heater warms up the car.
after christmas, i am always ready for spring. i have already worn my fun coats and hats and sweaters, and the weather is no longer romantic and christmassy. it’s just cold and gray and dead and dark.
i’ve been thinking a lot about longings lately. the way i long for spring at this time each year (today is considered the most depressing day of the year, after all) – for bike rides and picnics in the park and shorts and open porch doors. the way i am longing for consistent community. the way we are longing for financial stability and the ability to put money towards savings and paying more than the minimum amount on student loan payments. the way i am longing for us to be “fully-funded” and working on the college campus full-time with the ministry we are joining.
but the reality is, it’s winter, and cold, and not close to being over. it takes time to build relationships and invest in making those deep. the Lord is meeting our financial as well as our fundraising needs and I have no reason to complain, even if i’m not where i ultimately want to be.
but the longings i have are not inherently bad things.
so i am trying to figure out how to rest in reality while still looking forward to what is next.
paul the apostle dealt with this tension (though his desires might be a little more God-focused than mine) in philippians 1
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. (vv 21-24)
maybe part of the solution is found in verse 22 – what does it mean to be in the present? what purpose do i see in the current realities?
winter is necessary to produce spring.
we are trusting God for our daily bread and not living in an earthly security.
a season of uncertainty about the timing of the future produces more of a dependence on God’s sovereignty and knowledge.
God not only knows that i am here, but He has planned for me to be here. He led me here. and i want to rest in that.
but longings aren’t bad, as long as they are kept in perspective of submitting to God, right? so where does the balance come in? how do you find contentment now and joy in the longing of what is to come but hasn’t yet?
how do you handle that tension?