My friend, Kristin and I connected through a writers group and I was honored to be a part of her launch team when her book, More for Mom, released. If you haven’t read it yet – go on out and get a copy it’s like sweet tea for your soul – promise! Drink in her words of encouragement here in a season of waiting.
Lots of things were stale.
And I kept waiting for a breakthrough. Nothing major, drastic, or what I viewed as life changing was on my prayer list at that moment. They were smaller things, but things that still mattered to me.
However, it seemed my efforts were in vain, leading to a staleness in my everyday, because of the lack of response or perceived interest from the God I was trying to serve and follow.
I was watching others and their walk with the Lord, and I wanted what they had with God.
I was watching others make financial decisions, and I wanted what they had financially.
I was watching other’s hard work and time investment in their jobs pay off, and I wanted their harvest.
I even looked back at how things were for me only months before, and I wanted what I previously had.
So I opened my Bible to see if God would somehow just tell me why. Why my prayers weren’t being answered. Why, when I had been so sure of my obedience to Him, I wasn’t seeing or feeling the abundance of His blessing.
I opened my Bible to try and find out something I could do to fix the staleness that had immersed into my everyday.
That’s when I saw it. The four simple words jumped off the page at me during my quiet time with God.
“Think carefully your ways…”
The book of Haggai tells the story of the Israelites after Judah’s exile, and they’ve returned home to Jerusalem. They had settled back into their homes and were going about their days, working to provide for their families, eating, sleeping, and doing all the things that regular people do each day.
But it was stale. Nothing was producing fruit. They worked hard, but gained little. They built their own homes, and established the economy.
That’s when Haggai, the prophet, showed up with a Word from God.
Now, the Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways:
You have planted much
but harvested little.
but never have enough to be satisfied.
but never have enough to be happy.
You put on clothes
but never have enough to get warm.
The wage earner puts his wages
into a bag with a hole in it.”
The Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways.”
(Haggai 1:5-7, HCSB)
They had gotten distracted by the day-to-day, their own pursuits.
The shift is so, sooooo easy, isn’t it? One minute we are praising God, thanking Him, and stepping out in obedience, focused solely on Him and His will.
Then the next moment comes along. Our day-to-day reality shows up, distracting us, tugging at us, and ultimately re-prioritizing what’s in our hearts.
And we don’t even realize it.
I’ve often wondered why God waits around to answer certain prayers. Sure, some reasons are obvious to me, but so often they aren’t.
I ask myself, why hasn’t he answered my prayers? Why can’t or won’t He just snap His almighty fingers and make it happen?
It was Haggai’s story that made me realize I was asking the wrong question.
The question wasn’t what was God waiting on? The question was what was I waiting on?
God calls us to put Him first, put His presence first.
Without even realizing it, I had been trying to work out the answers to my prayers. You know, to “help God” along … like He needed my help.
All He needs or wants is my and your attention. Our trust. Our heart.
When we refocus out attention back on God, the staleness goes away. The desire for everything else goes away.
And that’s what He has always — from the very beginning — wanted us to consider and think carefully about.
“Now from this day on, think carefully… But from this day on I will bless you.”
(Haggai 2:15,19 CSB, emphasis mine)
With a passion for writing, Kristin Funston encourages women in a way that is relatable and practical, with a healthy dose of humor. She helps and encourages women to embrace their current season and experience God in the everyday as she is a regular contributor to multiple blogs, having been featured on sites such as The Better Mom, City Moms Blog, FaithIt, TODAY Parenting, and Scary Mommy. She is a leader in the marriage, family, and women’s ministries in her local church. Funston resides outside of Memphis, TN with her husband and three daughters. She has a master’s degree in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. You can find out more about her at KristinFunston.com and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.