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Stay - Not Quitting During the Dry or "Okay" Seasons

By Christy Tadlock

Once upon a time, (Just kidding! I’m not writing a fairytale.) I was at an odd place in one of my personal roles where things were fine.

Just fine. Not great. I’ve been serving and following God long enough to know things can be GREAT! I know God only wants great things for me and my family. I was playing the piano, and I had chosen the song “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” Out of the sincerity of my heart, I was playing it as a prayer to God that I would follow Him anywhere, wherever His will was. And it was like I heard God ask my heart, “What if I just want you to stay? What if I want things to stay the exact same? What if things are just ‘okay’ for awhile?”

I flippantly responded, in my heart of course, That’s easy. I’ll just continue. But the longer I played, the more convicted I became. Am I willing to stay? Am I willing to stay in the hard place without seeking for a way out?

Am I enduring the stay or thriving in the stay?

I believe God wants the best for His children. He will give the best to those that live for Him. So in my flesh, I only want to dwell in those times of complete goodness. But let’s be real. Sometimes, getting to the best is a process. Sometimes, it’s just about staying with God. That’s when I realized. This could be God's will for a looooong time. Only God knows! This could be exactly what God wants for me, even if I don’t think it’s the best.

Can I stay? Can I be content in trusting in Him regardless of the “spot” of life I’m in?

Consider this. We recently started a new year. So, 89.75% of us just finished reading Genesis according to our Bible reading plans right? Well, think of Noah. We know God used Noah greatly. We know Noah trusted God immensely. Noah actively obeyed God. I mean, y’all, he built an hand!! Doesn’t get more active service than that.

But Noah also served during the staying spots. Noah trusted God during the staying spots. Noah wasn’t begging for change during the staying spots. In Genesis 8, the rain has stopped (v. 2), the earth wasn’t completely covered in water (v. 3), and the ark was resting (v. 4). Noah waits forty days and opens a window to send out a raven and a dove. He had to be hoping, Please, let it be time to get off this boat.

But the dove returned. So Noah “stayed yet other seven days” (vs 10). Then he sent forth another dove; that dove returned in the evening with a leaf in its mouth. Imagine the excitement. Surely, it’s time to leave. But do you know what Noah did? He stayed on the ark seven more days (vs 12).

Noah knew how to stay.

Even when he knew that this wasn’t God's final plan. He didn’t rush ahead to get to the good part or become discontent and pitch a fit because he was done with that spot in life. No. Noah simply stayed.

Can I stay during the difficult spots? Do I just endure the staying spots, but can I enjoy the staying spots? I can if I want to! How? Just by trusting. Making up in my mind that God knows what He’s doing, and I’m here for the long haul. He loves me too much to do me wrong. I need to rest and stay until He says to move. So I challenge you to stay....

1.) Stay during seasons!

Marriages, families, and churches go through seasons just like the weather. Is your marriage in a summer season of dryness? Stay during the dryness. As a wife, continue to obey your commission given by God and just hang on for the fresh breath of fall. Is your church in a winter season of coldness? If you have a sound doctrinal church, I encourage you to STAY. I’ve been an active church member since the day I was saved over twenty-five years ago. Guess what? It’s not always easy! Services aren’t always amazing. But guess what’s coming? The new life and fruit of spring. STAY!

2.) Stay when it’s not fun!

Marriage is not always fun. Motherhood is not always fun. Being an active church member is not always fun. But be mature and stay in the place and role that God has called you to. Don’t ditch family events and responsibilities or church services because “it’s not fun right now.” STAY!

3.) Stay during transitions!

Every role that you occupy in life has transitions. As a young lady, you transition to a wife. As a wife, maybe you transition to motherhood. As a mother, you transition through the empty nest period. As a church member, you go through pastoral changes. As a woman, you go through physical transitions. And maybe, all of the above? It’s hard...every. single. bit of it! But what should you do? STAY!

God’s best is on the way. I believe it. I cling to it. He wants only good for me. So I will rest in God. Rely on God. Trust in God. He will give me the strength to stay.

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