Have you ever been on an airplane to hear the pilot say, “Folks, we are in a holding pattern and it will be a few more minutes before we are released to land? Thank you for your patience.” This is not what we want to hear when we are scheduled to meet someone at our next destination. God places all of us in holding patterns from time to time. It may be to have us listen, to test our ability to obey His voice, or to provide a reprieve for you to enjoy the ride. Yes, the pilot just said we are in a holding pattern and would be landing shortly, not that we would be flying aimlessly. A holding pattern is delaying aircraft that have arrived at their destination but cannot land yet because of traffic congestion, poor weather, or runway unavailability. Our holding pattern may be our blessings in disguise – preparation, protection or provision.
My husband, Steve, and I have been in a holding pattern for a little over two years as we care for his 84 year old mother. It would be easy to place her in a nursing home, have someone come each day and take care of her but Steve made a promise to his dying father. On his death bed, his weary bewildered father had the strength to ask Steve, “What is going to happen to your mother?” A son, tenderly speaking to his dad knowing it would be one of the last conversations which would have brought comfort to his father. He replied, “Dad, we are going to take care of her.” And with this said his father was at peace. Steve just created a holding pattern for our lives by honoring his father.
During this holding pattern, God has given us an opportunity to prepare and refine our talents and gifts through writing and art. He has protected our family. He has joined us with Godly people to encourage us and reaffirm his hand is leading us. He has introduced us to new opportunities to serve and release our gifts. He has made provision for us through various creative streams of income. He has given us areas to quietly serve. He has not left us during this holding pattern.
If you find yourself in a similar place, ask yourself a few questions. First, God is this the place you want me to be? Second, are you redirecting me or giving me a reprieve? And Thirdly, Ask Him to show you new places to release His glory. It could be through a friend, a family member or a total stranger. Remember, your holding pattern doesn’t require you to stay in your seat.
We haven’t been released from our holding pattern yet; but I am grateful to know we are serving the Lord and eagerly awaiting the new announcement – “You will be landing at your destination momentarily.”