I spent my high school years in South Dakota, a place of rolling plains, frigid winters, and scorching summers. The farmers around where I lived liked to plant winter wheat. I was always fascinated that they had to plant it before the first frost. The seed spouts, but then becomes dormant until the spring. It bursts into life and then waits for the sun to warm it nine months later.
Nine months later.
Ever notice this phrase in a book or movie? It’s is a common technique that authors and directors use to move the time along.
Two weeks, seven months, two years.
It’s a space of time when nothing of importance occurs during that time. Nothing changed. Nothing interesting or remarkable happened. Everything stayed the same.
That’s what I call an empty space.
How does the tiny Winter Wheat plant feel when the first snow comes? Does it know that it live, it must first spend months frozen? The days must seem endless. The months seem like years. And just what does it think? Maybe it wants to give up hope during the long, cold months of winter.
Are you in an empty space? Are you just waiting for the Author of life, God, to quietly write in the words Three years later, and then the changes you have been waiting for will appear.
Perhaps you are waiting for a job, and nothing is changing. Maybe you desperately need that raise, but you have to wait the required year before you see it. Waiting for a loved one to accept Christ? Time ticks slowly by as we wait, and wait, and wait.
J.R.R. Tolkien writes in “The Hobbit” how there is nothing to write about during the good times – that the bad times are what makes a story. In the same way, there is nothing to say during the empty spaces.
So what if you are in an empty space?
Psalms 27:14 says Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Don’t rush time. Don’t push past the Lord. Wait, hold on with all the bravery you have, and wait.
Galatians 6:9 also tells us “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
If you are in an empty space, wait. Be brave. Hope. Continue doing your best. Soon the Author of life will pick up His pen and continue the story.
Nine months later.
And then the Son will come with His warmth, and the empty space will be filled.
Are you in an empty space now? What keep you holding on?