a traffic pattern for aircraft at a specified location (holding point) where they are ordered to remain until permitted to land or proceed.
a state or period in which no progress or change is made or planned.
Holding Patterns. Been there before? If so, you can relate to the frustration that it sometimes comes along with...
Earlier this year, I came across this clip from a sermon that Dr. Tony Evans shared. It's just under six minutes and well worth checking out... You'll see why...
He shared an amazing analogy which I'd like to camp out and chat about for a few... While flying into Chicago, Dr. Evans' plane couldn't land right away and was stuck in a holding pattern. He was not thrilled. I'm sure I would not have been either. Especially when you have someplace to be. Right when you think you're in the loop about where you're headed, the flight pattern changes and there's absolutely nothing that can be done in the interim.
We've been there. I know I have. Frustrated about wanting to get to the destination already. Annoyed that time is being "wasted" while circling about in a small space leading to nowhere (or so it feels). The refreshments stopped being served. The airport bathroom is backed up and funky. Babies are screaming at the top of their lungs. Nearby passengers are griping and are in desperate need of a tic tac (or 12). And we're just about to flip because we have no control and no idea how long until that status changes.
So often, we miss out on the productivity, positivity, and PEACE along the journey because we're consumed with what (or where or how) we think our landing will be. In our minds, it'll be perfectly smooth but in real life, there tends to be redirection, delays and some turbulence. And we waste precious energy that could be used to maximize the moments that, in reality, are not so long or horrible. In fact, I can guarantee, that like anything in life, there will be a time when we'll look back on our holding patterns and wish for that season again. In the moment, it felt like we were going around in circles but in hindsight we'll see how God was orchestrating it all.
I've been guilty of the holding pattern fit. Frustrated. Pissed off. Totally over the whole journey. But when I've come to the (convicting) realization that my reaction is merely my lack of Trust in my Heavenly Pilot, a major paradigm shift takes place and I've been able to make the most of moments that God in His Sovereignty has allowed.
Your "landing" may not be marriage. Maybe your desired destination is a new job or friendship or location. Regardless of where your arrival will eventually be, the journey and the holding patterns are inevitable. Rather than flip out because we can't do what we want, stop to consider that God may be protecting us or preparing us in the timing. If you're re-routed, hold on for the ride (and to the Guide) and trust that when you land safely, you'll be in the very place God intended for you at the very time He's ordained. Thank Him for the crashes He's preventing and the traffic jams He's clearing.
It can be hard to embrace and believe at times, but when we recognize that our hope is only found in Christ alone, we're able to trust. I needed that reminder this week and the Lord was so faithful to reveal His Truth to me. God loves us with an everlasting love and is able to do beyond what we could ever come up with in our tiny minds. He uses everything. Nothing is wasted. And the joy in it all is that our final destination is with Christ in Eternity. The path of our journey leads to glory. It's gonna be worth it all.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
- Ephesians 3:20-21
pressing on toward the goal,
Are you having a hard time in your holding pattern? How can you make the most of it? Or how can we pray with you as you wait? Share with us...