‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’ Ecclesiastes 3:1
Life is full of seasons; full of ups and full of downs. We journey through seasons in our life and faith. Have you ever been consumed with thoughts of what is to come rather than living in the moment and making the most of your predestined season? Our relationship with Jesus can be a rollercoaster of emotions. How do we find contentment in all seasons and thrive in our given season?
I constantly find myself longing for the next season to come. My husband and I have just moved in with our very generous parents while we build a house. In my heart I am thankful for this season and I want to make the most of it, but I find myself constantly dreaming of [and planning] the next stage to come. ‘In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps’ Proverbs 16:9. I am reminded as I read the Word that God wants us to flourish in our given place, not waste our life by always jumping to the next step. He desires us to trust Him as we take each step.
You may find yourself in a season of drought; with a dry longing for what is to come, hopelessness in your relationships and distance from the Lord. You may in comparison find yourself to be in a season of harvest; with clarity in your path, abundance of joy, and a hunger for the Word. Wherever you are in life – live it don’t just survive it.
Have you ever looked at a friend or family member and thought ‘I wish my house looked like that’ or ‘one day I will have a job like theirs’. I know I find myself falling into this trap. We often look at others and compare our position and possessions to theirs. We can so easily compare our journey with another’s. How can we forget that God knows us by name and calls us to our place? ‘For a man’s ways are in view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths’ Proverbs 5:21. Hold onto him and fix your eyes on Jesus – not on others.
We wish we could just know what our seasons are from God. How convenient would it be if we were to receive a letter from God like this one:
The following are the upcoming seasons for 2016.
Season of waiting: You must work hard to receive a promotion
Season of fruitfulness: You will give birth to a healthy daughter
Season of harvest: You will receive a hefty pay increase and a promotion
Season of drought: You will lose a loved one
Season of joy: You will experience a revival of faith
God however, is clear that he has the plans and he will reveal them at his own will. Paul writes in Thessalonians 5:1 ‘Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.’ God has your life all laid out in front of him. He knows when you will succeed and knows when you will fail. Amazingly we have the Holy Spirit within us, spurring us on through it all!
Naomi Reed has written a wonderful biography that focuses on seasons in her life, particularly in the mission field. She writes:
Spiritually we move in seasons…these seasons not only affect the world in front of me but they also in a strange and parallel way, affect my relationship with God. So I peer into the fog of my current season, often wondering what I will gain from my toil. I wonder whether I will see His hand transform my seasons into beauty. I wonder whether I will ever fathom what He is doing from beginning to end...” – Naomi Reed, My Seventh Monsoon: A Himalayan Journey of Faith and Mission
Sisters, let us hold onto the hope that Jesus gives us and thrive in the season we have been placed in. Paul challenges us in Philippians 4:12-13 as he reveals he has found the ‘secret of being content in any and every situation’. His secret is this: find strength in Christ alone. Let us be like the Proverbs 31 woman: ‘She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come’. Proverbs 31:25