Limbo!

By Erin Elizabeth Austin

I have the privilege today of posting a guest blog by a good writer friend, Erin Elizabeth Austin. We met at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference two years ago, and since then, I have been greatly encouraged by her brave spirit and beautiful words. The topic for today’s post is timely for me, and I hope it encourages you too!

 

Did you ever play the game Limbo when you were a kid? You know the one I’m talking about – the game where two people stand holding the opposite ends of a yardstick or broom while a line of people see if they can go underneath the stick without bending forward or touching the stick. The point of the game is to see how flexible people are, something that’s fun when you’re a child, but not so much when you’re an adult.

I’ve always been very flexible, which made Limbo one of the few games I won in gym class. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for life. When I was younger, I liked to think I was flexible and could handle whatever life threw at me, but after going a few rounds with the God-sized version of Limbo, I’ve realized how mistaken I was.

Whether or not you realize it, we’re all required to play Limbo with God at some point. So how does God’s version of Limbo work? Usually, it happens during times of transition. My sister recently went through this while waiting on her house to be built. The date she was scheduled to move into her new house was the beginning of April, but it wasn’t until July 4th she was finally allowed to move. For three months, she and her family were forced to live out of boxes, not something you want to do with three young children. I know another friend who is currently between jobs. God led her to quit her old job, but a new one hasn’t opened up yet. As for me, well, I’m waiting to see if a book God told me to write is going to be published. And although these situations are different, they are all a part of God’s game of Limbo. Somewhere, I can hear Him shouting, “How low can you go? How flexible are you really?”

So why does it matter if we’re flexible in life? Why does God even care? Over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s during those times of transition that God is doing the most work. Like my sister’s house, it looked like everything was ready, but there were still plumbing problems, lights which didn’t work properly, and smoke alarms that were malfunctioning. Often, we have things in our lives that aren’t quite ready for the next season in life. It can be anything from still dealing with some emotional baggage from a previous relationship to overcoming fear about what the future holds. Personally, I’ve had to learn to let go of my need for control and needing to know the outcome of a situation and learn to trust God to handle the future.  

People aren’t perfect. It’s a fact of life. Sometimes, God shows His love for us the most when He makes us wait. Like Joseph in the book of Genesis, some of our greatest lessons are learned during our seasons of waiting. Waiting isn’t synonymous with inactivity. We often think because we can’t see God at work in our lives that nothing is happening – that He’s forgotten us. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. God put the dream of leadership in Joseph’s heart long before he was ready. The events of his life, including the trials, prepared him to be a compassionate leader. Because he went through hardship, he was able to lead others through hardship with grace and dignity.

It’s the same with you. The season of waiting to transition from the old to the new does have a purpose. God is doing more in your life than you could begin to imagine. Being rigid only hurts you and makes this time all the more difficult. So pray that God will mold you into the person He wants you to be and helps you learn the lesson He’s trying to teach. And when this time of limbo is passed, you will be ready for the next season of life.

So, how low can you go?

“Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, ‘God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me’? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch His breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.  They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired; they walk and don’t lag behind.” ~ Isaiah 40:27-31 (MSG)

 

© Copyright 2014 by Erin Austin

 

Erin Elizabeth Austin is the founder of Broken but Priceless Ministries, a non-profit organization which helps people suffering with a chronic illness, as well as their caregivers. Erin is also a writer and speaker, and she is close to completing her first book. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family, friends, and build forts with her nephews. Her goal for each day is to have an adventure, laugh, love, and eat chocolate.

 

Check out these important links:

Erin’s website and blog: www.brokenbutpriceless.com

Her Facebook page with tons of encouragement, inspiring quotes,
and beautiful pictures: www.facebook.com/BrokenButPricelessMinistries

Her Twitter profile: www.twitter.com/Erin_E_Austin

waiting on God, seasons of life, Erin Elizabeth Austin, life with God, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (7)

  • anon

    I often think of Joseph too. I find that so much of the limbo is stressful because I fear it won't get better or won't change. 
     
    Thanks for reminding us to be active in waiting.
     
    Much Love,
     
    Tina

    Jul 29, 2014
  • anon

    Tina, I think that's a fear we all have at some point. I know I have! There's a passage of Scripture in Isaiah 43:18-19 which always comforts me when I'm worried nothing  good will happen in my life. It says:
    "Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wildnerness, rivers in the desert."
    God's got great things planned for you! Hold on to His promise. Your past is not your future!
     

    Jul 29, 2014
  • anon

    I often think of Joseph and all the waiting in his life. God is present even in the dungeon and he hears our cries...
    Thank you. 
     
    Much love,
     
    Tina

    Jul 29, 2014
  • anon

    Dear Tina, I drew strength from Erin's example of Joseph. He patiently waited on God, and God used him in a mighty way, to save so many people. Thank you for your comments and for stopping by! May God bless you as you wait on Him.

    Jul 29, 2014
  • anon

    This really touched me. God told me to quit one job because it wasn't Christ-like and put me at a daycare working. God's an amazing God. If we think about what God has done for us instead of complain, things might be different. I had the opportunity to watch Heaven is for Real. It showed me even in the worst times of our lives we should praise God.
     

    Jul 29, 2014
  • anon

    I agree, Kim, that God is amazing. When we have seen Him work in our lives, it helps us to trust Him for the future. Thank you for your commenting, and I hope you enjoy your new job!!

    Jul 29, 2014
  • anon

    Kim, I'm so thankful you're seeing God working in your life, even if things don't always make sense. There is power in praising God because your eyes are on Him instead of on your problems. Keep looking to Him and you'll be amazed at what He does!
     

    Jul 29, 2014

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An editor for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman is also a Bible study author who loves to write about the treasures of Scripture. Her Bible studies focus on winning life's spiritual battles, and her blog shares snippets of "scrapbooked" encouragement. Learn more about The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and follow Katy's blog to receive weekly posts. 

 

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