Purpose in the pause is not always known. However, there are benefits. 

Dearest Reader,

Purpose in the pause is not always known. However, there are benefits. 

Have you experienced a pause in your life? If so, how did it make you feel? Did you learn from the pause? Did you find yourself scraping the landscape of your soul for answers?

Most times, when our lives, or something in our lives, is paused, we balk like a stubborn mule. We plodded the way through, confused, and discouraged.

What if we discover life in the pause?

Earlier, we saw the foundation for the new temple laid in Ezra, chapter three. There was rejoicing, weeping, and worship. The tension of what was and what is stirring all manner of emotions.

Before we get to the purpose in the pause, let’s take a look at what is happening in Ezra, chapter four. 

Soon, Judah’s adversaries heard that the returned exiles were building a temple. They wanted in on the action intending to stop them from rebuilding. However, the Israelites found themselves here because of their idolatry, and they wanted no part of the Samaritans and their mixed religion.

Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, ‘Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.’ But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel said to them, ‘You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.’

Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.” Ezra 4:1-6 (ESV)

The enemy sabotages Judah, and King Artaxerxes orders the work to cease.  

Subsequently, the king’s orders cause construction on the new temple to halt. In summary, the work pauses for sixteen years.

“Then the work on the house of God that is in Jerusalem stopped, and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.” Ezra 4:24 (ESV)

The Israelites, held captive in Babylon for seventy years, released from exile, returned home, and just like that, their dreams of rebuilding the temple of the Lord pause.

Judah’s enemies thwarted the rebuilding of the temple out of fear, and thus, the work ceased. What does that have to with us today?

Dearest One, have you experienced an exile? Hence you are rebuilding your dreams and life only to have it paused?

At that moment, it feels as if the floor has dropped from beneath you. Your life, hopes, and dreams dashed, and you are left feeling discouraged, disgruntled, and abandoned.  Angry.

Perhaps, you whisper the words:

“Where are you God? Are you in the pause? Is there purpose in the pause? Wasn’t the exile enough?”

When unexpected pauses come my way, often, I will attempt to push through. You think I would’ve learned that pushing only serves to frustrate me more.

What if there is a purpose in the pause?  

What if there is life in the pause?

Above all, what if God is in the pause?

Suppose we are meant to “Be still and know?”

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

I am learning there are benefits in a pause. 

  • Refining
  • Rest
  • Renewal
  • Restoration

Connection with God is renewed and restored in the pause.

I suspect there are times when the relationship with my Heavenly Father is precisely the purpose of unexpected pauses in my life. Restored connection with the Lord is needed.

Dearest Reader, do you need restored connection with the Lord today?

Take a few minutes to pray and journal the answer to that question. Look for the benefits of previous pauses in your life. Where did you see God in the pause?

Purpose in the pause is not always known. However, there are benefits.

In her book, Suffering Is Never For Nothing, Elizabeth Elliot says this:

“God will go to any lengths to get our attention long enough to say, I am the Lord.”

Yes, Dearest One, even a pause.

Heavenly Father,

Let us see you in the pause.

Give us rest in the ceasing. 

May we be still and know that you are God.


I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

Your Wilderness Guide,


*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com

PS: Catch my in-depth teaching: What We Have In Common With the Disciples from Mark 8!!

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“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word