Making the Most of Meanwhile

by Teresa D. Glenn

Don’t you love to hear a good story unfold? You know, the kind that has phrases like:

“and she had no idea that 2 weeks ago he…”
“no one knew that all along her boss had quietly initiated…”
“to everyone’s surprise, he had been planning this …”
“that single experience was the quiet catalyst that would eventually…”

In the beginning and middle of the story, ordinary circumstances unfold and conversations transpire. Then somewhere along the way segments that seemed to stand alone connect and an unpredictable story takes shape—to which we say, I did not see that coming!

Old Testament stories are like this, as they vividly reveal God’s sovereign plans played out over time. A while back I studied 1 and 2 Chronicles, and one word in a story held my focus:

MEANWHILE

In 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20, King Jehoshaphat learns that a tremendous army is coming to attack his kingdom, and he’s afraid. He “set his face to seek the LORD” and prayed, “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (v.12)  King Jehoshaphat also called his people to seek the Lord: “Meanwhile all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. And the Spirit of the LORD came…”

The rest of the story amazes. The sovereignty of God – who knows all the moving parts, the condition of every heart, the impact of all words and circumstances, every decision that’s in process, and the timing of everything—powerfully displayed.

I don’t know how long this season was, but I can imagine their fear. Desperate, they grew dependent. Desperate, they grew faithful. In the “meanwhile” of their circumstance, they prayed—men, women, children, and moms “with their little ones”.

I thought about my life and each member of our family’s life.  I can never know all the moving parts—the condition of each heart, the impact of words or circumstance, every decision that’s in process, the timing of most things, or what any outcome will be.  Oh, but I have certainly tried! We analyze and re-analyze, and then perhaps invite someone to analyze with us.

Do you ever feel powerless? Overwhelmed? Uncertain?
Does your child?

Make the most of every MEANWHILE.  Pray.

Ask others to pray, to intercede to God on your behalf. No matter your child’s age, lead them toward prayer. Pray over them, gently and briefly. Offer to pray with them. Silently, pray for them. Encourage them to pray for others and their circumstance. Pray as a family. Pray aloud, so that your children hear and see how spontaneous, simple, and significant talking to God can be. Pray that your children will pray.

We have a lot of “meanwhiles” in life—waiting seasons, challenging relationships, difficult decisions, hard circumstances—and our children will, too. Our “meanwhiles” and our child’s “meanwhiles” can bear testimony to the faithfulness of God and how intimately He yearns for us to participate with Him in His larger-than-what-we-can-see plan.

Teresa Glenn speaks and writes to encourage and mentor women about partnering with God through the everyday circumstances of life. She is the author of Becoming A Peaceful Mom: Through Every Season of Raising Your Child She writes at celebratethefamily.org. For speaking requests contact Teresa at teresadglenn@gmail.com or complete the form on her website. She and her husband Terrell live in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

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