Have you ever felt like a change was coming, but you don’t know what or when? Like you’re just waiting for the next step?
Our Family’s Recent Change
Almost a month ago, our family moved an hour north to live in the community where my husband became a pastor back in March. This was an answer to many prayers and a long period of trusting that God was directing us somewhere, and waiting for His timing.
Looking back, we started feeling a change was coming more than 5 years ago. As time went on, we felt less and less settled in our life, anticipating a big change on the horizon more and more. We prayed for direction and clarity as we waited for what was next, and during that time He prepared us in several ways:
- He sent us to a church planting assessment. While we walked away not so sure about starting a church, the experience bolstered my confidence in transitioning to full-time ministry and prepared me in ways I couldn’t have anticipated.
- He transitioned me into two new jobs (one in March 2020, then a promotion in February 2022), which have ended up being blessings in our current season of life.
- He inspired me to start blogging, which is a way I reflect, revisit, remember, and try to reinforce things He’s been teaching me–and hopefully encourage other moms along the way.
- He strengthened my relationship with my mom and led us to begin doing Bible studies together, despite living two states apart and having wildly different schedules.
- He gave us opportunities to trust and obey, even when we couldn’t see the whole picture.
When Elijah Saw a Change
In December of last year, we had faith that God was going to provide my husband with another job–although we didn’t know what or where, we could see ways He was directing our steps and lining up all the pieces.
At the same time, I was doing a Bible study on Elijah at our church. The section about unsettling in Week 3 really resonated with me.
Elijah’s Time in Cherith Comes to an End
When Elijah was in Cherith, the brook started to dry up. But he waited and kept seeking God. As Priscilla Shirer wrote on page 83-85:
Sometimes we can discern that God’s preparing to unsettle us when the resources needed to sustain us in our current position start to shrivel and dry up . . .
Ask Him for clarity on why He’s allowed this deficiency, then wait for wisdom and direction. Don’t let panic set in as you sit beside the drying brook . . .
If we aren’t spiritually discerning, we’ll be filled with alarm when our current resources begin drying up . . . but Elijah’s narrative helps us see the possibility that when finances fade, when opportunities dwindle, when skill and creativity decline, or when any number of necessities become increasingly unavailable, a new location could likely be awaiting our arrival.
So seek God like Elijah did . . . let the brook go dry.
What to Do While You Wait for Change
If we look at 1 Kings 17 and 18, we see multiple examples of God telling Elijah to go, and Elijah obeying. He waits for just the right time to leave Cherith and go to Zarephath, and then leave Zarephath and present himself to King Ahab.
What should we do when we feel like a change is coming, and we aren’t quite as settled and comfortable in our lives? Wait, pray, seek Him, be still, look, and listen. As Priscilla wrote on page 86:
Looking and listening are critical when you’re being unsettled by God’s design. Before you can determine if and when to move and where to go, wait for your loving Father’s clarity. If He hasn’t given it to you, then you don’t need to leave Cherith yet. Wait. Seek Him in prayer, listening for the gravity of the Spirit’s conviction in your soul as He illuminates His Word. Seek the counsel of wise mentors and spiritual leaders. Because at the right time, He’ll begin to shine a spotlight on the path He’s planned for you to take toward Zarephath.
Life Changes for Us All
Throughout life, we’ll experience these times of anticipating change. We can see examples of it in biblical heroes like Ruth, Joseph, Moses, Esther, Mary and Joseph, Paul . . . the list goes on. How did they all handle it? They prayed, waited, and sought after God.
Feeling unsettled just before a chance isn’t comfortable, but it’s part of God preparing you for what’s next. As Priscilla wrote on pages 80-82:
Being continually relocated is what refines and prepares it [wine] for its intended purpose . . . overstaying our welcome in one place can rob us of the work God intends to do in us at the next one. In His wise and sovereign way, He often includes seasons of unsettledness where He transferes us out of the comfort and complacency of familiarity and moves us into a new place and position.
Whether or not you feel a change coming, I hope you remember you’re not alone! God is with you in the waiting. He’s guiding your steps in ways you can’t see yet and preparing you for His plan that’s just around the corner.