1. A usually circular pattern flown by aircraft awaiting clearance to land at an airport.
2. Informal A state of waiting or delay.
Several things probably come to your mind when you think of a "holding pattern." Most of which is likely to be: babies screaming, close quarters, and starving with only peanuts to eat. I too have experienced this seemingly unending process. Not only in the natural, but in the supernatural as well.
Last summer we took a trip to Nashville to visit our family and friends. On our flight out East there was a very powerful storm hitting the Nashville area at the same time we were going to land. Among the moans of disbelief and frustration from the passengers (myself included) the pilot announced that we would be landing in Arkansas for 45 minutes, then would head back to Nashville when the storm had passed. After already being on the plane for 4 1/2 hours (in the seat between both of my children), I felt I would rather take my chances with the lightning.
But to Arkansas we went, and we sat...and we sat, then took off...and sat...until 4 hours after our original landing time, we finally arrived in Nashville. By the time we all crawled into bed it was after 3am. We were completely wiped out, frustrated, and ready to give up on air travel all together.
It wasn't until very recently that the Lord revealed to me the parallels in our spiritual journey to this last trip out East...
Last year, at the end of March we were seeking the Lord on what we should do next. We were getting ready to graduate from CBC and the natural progression of things just seemed like we would move. Strike out on our new ministry adventure!!
But wait...a powerful Word, confirming the lack of peace we had about leaving. We were almost able to hear the brakes squealing on our plans...
And then there was the waiting...and waiting...wondering if we had done the right thing.
And then, 6 months after the decision to stay, something wonderful happened. The greatest bible study/ministry/group Josh and I have ever led dropped into our laps by the Holy Spirit. In fact, Josh and I had very little to do with it, and because of that~ it was AWESOME! And now we have the blessing of knowing why we stayed. Why we were in a holding pattern by the Holy Spirit. He was waiting for something...perhaps he was waiting on us, perhaps he was protecting us from an eminent "storm" or perhaps it was a little of both.