Holding Pattern


By Tonya Allen

The dictionary defines holding pattern as the flight path maintained by an aircraft awaiting permission to land, or as a state or period of no progress or change. If you are a seasoned air traveler, then you have most likely experienced a holding pattern when the plane is unable to land because of unfavorable weather conditions.  The pilot will announce to all the flyers that he must maintain a holding pattern until he receives directions from the control tower. This is common, so planes must be prepared and have enough fuel to safely stay in the air until it has been cleared to land. You begin to hear the passengers mumbling, “How long? Why? What is the problem? When will this end?”

There will come a time in your life when you will live through a similar season.  Suddenly you will have no green light, no red light, just a flashing caution light.             The yellow light that tells you to wait, go slow, watch, and listen. It is here, God’s holding pattern, where the Lord will teach you more about himself and more about your relationship with him.  The holding pattern is a good thing, because this is the location where God will meet you. The Bible says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong. Let your heart take courage.” Psalms 27:14

The holding pattern is the distance between what God said and what he does and what you do in the holding pattern determine what happens when you land. You have been gifted with the tension of wondering what is next in the holding pattern.  What do you do in the holding pattern? You continue to do what got you there…you worship…you show up…you stay faithful…you go to the meetings…you keep volunteering…you keep smiling. Can you worship in the middle? Can you worship while in the holding pattern?

The holding pattern is very important. Not only do you learn what the Lord wants you to do, you will also learn how and when to do it. It is not just about whether you have enough faith to receive his promise, it is also about having the spiritual strength to remain airborne until it is time to land. Just like the airplanes need extra fuel, you will need to carry plenty of spiritual fuel to handle all the possible delays. As you wait for clearance to land, note that his delays are not denials. As you wait for clearance, when it is time to make a decision, please ask yourself if you are waiting on God’s timing. You must wait on God’s timing. God’s word in the 27th chapter of Psalms tells us to wait on the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage. In the 14th verse, God repeats it, he tells us again to wait on him. Why did he repeat it? Because it takes courage to wait. Can you trust God to know that his timing is better than yours?

In the second book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is described as a rushing mighty wind. Look at Noah, God delayed him just long enough for him to fulfill God’s purpose. Genesis chapter 8 starts off by reminding us that God never forgot Noah, he was always in God’s sight and on God’s mind. After the delay, God sent a mighty wind to spring up and evaporate the waters. God’s mighty rushing winds will blow away all obstacles. His wind will place your feet on dry land so that you can move forward. God’s rushing wind will blow away all of your fears and insecurities.

Even in times of frustration and waiting, God is still thinking about you and working everything out for your good. While in the holding pattern, reflect on David in the 8th book of Psalms.  David asked God, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” (vs 4). God made us, you and I, as the ones who reflect Him more than any of his other creations. David is saying that we are always on God’s mind, look how he created us. We are his prized creation. So, when you sense a divine breeze in your spirit, rejoice. It’s a sign that He’s clearing you to land, and good things are about to happen.

Tonya Allen

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