Monday, December 3, 2012


Yup, that's how I feel lately.


Like a book that God enjoyed reading, but when He was done with me, He put me on the shelf.

Before I moved, I had a nice little corner of ministry going.  A few speaking engagements.  A consistent blog voice.  An active leadership role in my Bible Study.

I had hopes of God opening the door into the Christian *big-time* at any moment.  It seemed imminent, around the corner – just waiting for me.

Then I moved.

And everything came to a screeching halt.

No one's ringing my doorbell to have me come and share my pearls of wisdom with their group.  My blog muse let's call her Verbosiahas left the building.  And though I am in a new Bible Study group full of wonderful women, I am still the "new kid on the block."

I feel dismayed about this.

Yes, I know all about the *seasons* that God calls us to walk through – but when did He decide that this was a good time for winter?

I do want you to know – that I do see the irony of ME saying that I don't have MY ministry.  I do see the self-interest in that statement.

But there's still a part of me – a part of every believer, I think – that really does want to be used by the Lord for HIS purposes.

So why am I sitting on a couch bemoaning my sitting?

I decided to visit some of my friends.

I texted Joseph, whose brothers had abandoned him, then he was rescued, only to be thrown into jail for a false accusation.

"Hey Jo, Y am I doing nothing here?"

"Know what u mean," he answered.  "I had some ?'s myself in that jail cell.  ☹"

"Did u think that God had forgotten u?"

"There were moments, 4 sure.  But God saw the end.  BTW, what others meant 4 evil, He meant 4 good.  ☺"

I emailed Moses, who was treated as the son of Pharaoh, only to kill a man and run away to spend 40 years (count 'em, 40) in the wilderness with a bunch of sheep.

"Hey Moses, I'm kinda struggling here on my mountain top.  I can't stand the feeling that I've been sidelined.  Know what I mean?"

"Why of course!  Can you imagine what it felt like to be a shepherd for 40 years?  Why was I wasting my time with sheep, I often wondered.  Of course, God knew the plan He had for me – to shepherd a nation out of slavery into their Promised Land."

"But Moses, I'm no spring chicken here.  Time is ticking."

"Hey, I really started making a difference when I was 80.  Hang in there!"

I finally decided to call David, a man whom Samuel anointed as the future king of Israel, only to spend a great deal of time running for his life.



"David?  This is Sharon."

"Oh hi, Sharon.  What's up?"

"I'm just wondering if you ever felt like God had forgotten you.  As if He had called you to this big old purpose, only to send you off on a wild goose chase. Did you ever feel shelved?"

There was a pause on the other end…

"David, you still there?"

"Yes," he said quietly.  "Actually, I felt like that quite often.  I think you can tell by the words I said in my poems.  So often I felt lost, neglected, forgotten,…so very far from the God I loved."

"Yeah, I have always found your honesty to be quite comforting."

"Thank you for that.  But here's the thing I learned.  That even when I cried out to God in despair, even when it felt like He wasn't there and didn't care – He still called me a man after His own heart.  I find that incredible, don't you?"


"Somehow in my deep discouragement, I still sought His presence.  Are you doing that?"

"As best as I can, I am."

"Then don't look back.  I found that it was very difficult to think about my Goliath triumph when I was sitting in a dark cave running away from Saul. Was this the behavior or the position of a king?  I thought God was making some pretty big mistakes."

"Yeah, I wonder sometimes too.  A lot lately."

"It's OK.  He has a plan.  Don't give up the Story just because you don't know the ending.  He's a good Author – trust Him."

I spent a lot of time thinking about my conversations with these men.  Men who had been called for an important spiritual destiny.  And yet, they had each spent a lot of time in seemingly wasted inactivity.

But God was working…all the time.

I turn the page in my Bible and Joseph is out of prison – but he was there for 2 years.  I turn the page in my Bible and Moses returns from the wilderness – but he was there for 40 years.  I turn the page in my Bible and David is king of the entire nation of Israel – but he ran for many years before he wore that crown.

I turn the page in my Bible and Jesus begins His ministry.  But He spent 30 years waiting for the moment when God would tell Him, "NOW!"

I guess I'm in good company here.

On a shelf doesn't mean forgotten.  It doesn't mean unimportant.  It certainly doesn't mean useless.

Those are enemy lies propaganda from the parrot constantly squawking on my shoulder – meant to deter me from becoming more like Jesus.

Lord, give me patience for this time in my life.  Please relieve the discouragement that I feel right now.  Make Your presence more real to me so I don't feel forgotten.  Grant me comfort when I am sad.  Give me peace when I feel turmoil.  Fill me with strength to withstand the onslaught of pity.  Let me understand that inside work is just as important to You as outside service.

Maybe more important.

Teach me that all that matters is that I am a woman after Your own heart.

And if You wouldn’t mind, please show me a sign of Your favor.

God is working his purpose out
as year succeeds to year:
God is working his purpose out,
and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the time,
the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled 
with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

- From a hymn, words written by Arthur Campbell Aigner

"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things." (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." 
(Psalm 139:16)

Has God ever *placed you on the sidelines* for a time in your life? What did you do?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hi Sharon,

    Brilliant blog, I have experienced that feeling, yes, at the moment, I just feel very disorganised and need to get my head around a few things.

    I hope and pray God will answer your prayer and ease your discouragement, remember, you have a ministry on here blogging. Although I know things are quiet at the moment and that is a bit discouraging.

    God Bless Sister - Nita x

  2. Sharon, Sharon, I'm feeling a little bit of this myself as I'm currently looking for a new church and it's odd to be in places where no one knows your name. At times I wonder how will ever get to the act of doing ministry again but I try to find rest in knowing I'm right were I need to be at this time in my life. Because truth be told I had begun to become weary in the doing.

  3. Sharon,
    thanks for the reminder that God has us on a ride all the time! Sometimes we are up high (all your speaking ) and then there are times he wants us quiet and close to him. David had that huge triumph w/Goliath and then, here he is hiding in a cave! I don't like that God has us "uncomfortable" a lot of times, but just know He is right there with you, smiling at you, because HE loves you and knows that HE is working in and through you! HE just did- what a blessing your post is! Love you!

  4. I do remember a time when I felt like I had been put on a shelve for a season. Being a gal who doesn't like empty white space it was a difficult time for me. The scripture that kept coming to mind was "be still and know that I am God" It was a time of growth to be sure...praying that you will find it a time of renewal as well

  5. Actually, when you look to the left, I'm the one beside you on the couch! I seem to be sharing that space with you. I've been here before though, so this I know... HE knows we're there, and in the waiting He is getting us ready for whatever is next. I so relate to your heart Sharon, and it always lifts me up, maybe it's that so many times I feel just what you write.

    Shelf space is not without value... :) Just wait!

  6. Hi Sharon,
    I took a blogging break for a while earlier this year. When I came back, I went to your other blog and saw you had not posted there in a while. So I thought you were no longer blogging. Then tonight I realized you were blogging on this blog. It is good to visit.

    BTW, patience is something I sure do need!

    God bless,

  7. Welcome back, Verbosia. I have missed you.

    Sharon, I am sitting here with that old lump in my throat and a full chest. You wrote straight from God's heart to me with this one. I could have expressed every thought myself.

    While we're sitting on that shelf. Let's pray for God to keep us dusted off so as to be ready when He reaches up that hand of his and says, "It's time..."

  8. Sharon, I think this is one of your best pieces, amazing what God can do with us while we are on the shelf--only if we are open to Him. your creative way of bringing the message of waiting across to us through your conversations with the patriarchs of the Bible put life and reality into their words. I know only to we'll that feeling of having been left behind or forgotten. But those are whispers from the enemy! Keep the right perspective--your eyes are on The Lord. He is preparing you for His Time. So glad to hear from you, and happy that my post encouraged you.
    Blessings, Janis

  9. Aww Sharon...I've felt this way too. I get you but He doesn't ever forget what He started. I love how you wrote this and your honesty is actually so refreshing. I don't want you to feel this way but I think He has a divine appointment for you and the move was part of it. Hang tight...the best is yet to come

  10. "It's OK. He has a plan. Don't give up the Story just because you don't know the ending. He's a good Author – trust Him."

    I love profound thoughts expressed in simple statements! This is something that will be posted where it can be seen and referred to often...especially when I am on my "shelf"...

  11. Great post.

    In my mind, I have been "on the shelf" for a number of years now. Like you, I once ministered to others on a personal level. Divorce changed everything 10 years ago. However, I have found that my life still touches others in some way. Maybe it's a rambling blog or just an encouraging word to another in need.

    Transitions can be tough. All the best to you and yours.

  12. Excellent post. I feel like this right now as well. Honestly, I feel like I've been waiting ever since I finished college. I'm ready to get on with things, but I'm trying to be patient for His timing.

  13. My dearest "shelved" Sharon ... Never! You have too much of an excellence in sharing "God" or anything through writing to be shelved. I love how Debbie wrote and agree with each person who claim this as ONE of YOUR CLASSIC ALL TIME BEST!

    See what sitting on a shelf does... those creative juices were just urking to flow and WOW did they ever. I have many shelved books that I return to over and over again as my favorites. You have that same quality! I love how you spoke to these Biblical characters like friends (us)... but with Jesus, the best!

    "Teach me that all that matters is that I am a woman after Your own heart." like David we both long for this ... yet in this time of waiting, there is preparation going on, perhaps just to REST in Him is all we really need. He loves to
    show up in the weakest and the least, and bring forth His glory! Your writing in this one is well worth a series of you speaking with Biblical characters for the answers we search for from His Word!

    Brrring! Brrring!
    Hello Sharon ... this is Peggy! My how I have missed you! and just as much I have missed your writing!

    Come sit on my couch and let's talk!

    I'll be waiting! You are such a delight! I am so blessed by your writing! I am reaching for the shelf for the best book ever: HIS STORY and your extra edition of humor and practical, insightful writing is the next one that I will pick up, whether it's a Bible Pick'ems or Sharon Sharing God! You are part of His Story in a big way... on the shelf, in your new place, you are a voice and one of the greatest treasures. You are being used in a special way with someone very dear and close. This is the highest calling, for the time is short and the finish is well worth your ministry for an eternity, not a season! Your voice is also in your action and your heart! You flow from His and He flows through you... of this, I'm sure you know for sure...the BEST ministry is yet to come. Part of the reason for the recent move!

    I'm praying and believing for you and with you!
    Love (((hugs)))
    (it's been a while so you'll have to forgive me for the book long comment)

  14. So much to be learned from this post. I love all the illustrations you gave. We don't know what God has in store for us or how He will get us to the place he wants us to be. We need to keep trusting that He knows what He's doing because He certainly does, and in time it will all make sense. I have found that to be so true in my life.

  15. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Sharon your experiences and feeling are felt by so many. By having these feelings you searched out the answers in the bible and found them to share with everyone here. By sharing here you are helping so many in how to deal with the ups and downs they may experience. This is a wonderful blog. Let go and trust, there is a purpose.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)