As a home cook, I am always amazed by the fermentation process. You take one or two items mix them together, provide the right environment, give it time, and in the end, you have food or drink which has been transformed. Over the past couple of months, I have been making home-brewed kombucha. This requires time and patience for the fermentation process to occur. During fermentation, you don’t see the process, but there is a lot happening in the ‘ecosystem’. Given the right environment and time, you will create a delicious result. This got me thinking about 2020.
It seems as if this year has been the year of waiting. We started this new decade with high expectations for the future, then March put the brakes on everything. The pandemic has put us in a time of waiting; some are waiting for life to go ‘back to normal’, some are waiting for the ‘new normal’ to begin, some are waiting for our houses of worship to fully open, some are waiting to lay loved ones to rest, some are waiting for the second wave to start. Sprinkle in the election, the unending barrage of tropical storms and hurricanes, social media, the return to lockdown for parts of the world, and food shortages, this year seems to be unending.
Did you know there was a 400 year period from the last book of the Old Testament until the appearance of John the Baptist and Jesus in the New Testament? This time is referred to by some religious sects as the Biblical Years of Silence, Intertestamental Period, or Deuterocanonical Period. During this time there were no new biblical revelations from God. When we look back at the book of Malachi, the prophet reminds us that we have a loving God who is unchanging in His purpose for us since the beginning of time.
“I have loved you,” says the LORD. Yet you ask, “How have you loved us?” “Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” This is the LORD’s declaration. “Even so, I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau. I turned his mountains into a wasteland, and gave his inheritance to the desert jackals.” ~ Malachi 1:2-3
Read the first sentence again. God is declaring His love for us, but he also reminds us of His power if we don’t live in accordance with His commands. Thank goodness Malachi doesn’t stop there, he ends his prophecy with the coming of the Day of the Lord:
“…But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the staff. You will trample the wicked for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing” says the LORD of armies. ~ Malachi 4:2-3
Then, the waiting begins. During this time, Israel would fall under the control of the Greeks and the Romans, including Antipater, a descendant of Esau, as procurator of Judea. The people did not use this time wisely to seek God or prepare for the Messiah.
As we continue in this season of waiting how are you living according to God’s commands and following His calling? For me, there has been a lot happening during this time of waiting. I lost my job, dealt with the highs and lows of uncertainty, and navigated the feelings of isolation. However, just like my kombucha, I am being made into someone different from who I was in March.
God has called me to create and I have been given the time to answer His call by spending more time creating content for my podcast (Feed Your Spirit), blogging regularly, writing a book, leading online Bible studies, growing my speaking opportunities, expanding my circle of friends, and taking the time to be still in His word. I am spending more time reading and studying my Bible, reading several books about God’s attributes, and diving into the teachings of Jesus. The entire time, good days and bad, I am taking time to transform myself to be a better daughter of the Almighty King.
As you can see, there is good that can come from a time of waiting. Even if it lasts 400 years. How are you using this waiting period to worship God with genuine faith and humility as commanded?
Comment below or send me a DM with how you are using this waiting period.