“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven”
As I have journeyed through life, I have come to learn that life serves itself in seasons. That’s why 2017 may be nothing like what 2016 was, and IT’S IN ORDER. As one created by God, it is vital to have this understanding and walk each day in the knowledge that in the rhythm of His love, grace and purpose, tomorrow may not be like yesterday. He, who ordains seasons, gives the strength, wisdom and grace for each. I have come to learn this about my Maker – He will never place me where His grace cannot sustain me.
It’s in order
I wouldn’t really describe myself as a foodie. I looove to cook, bake and all that stuff but I’m so heedful of my eating; I prefer to eat what I know and I can’t find myself to finish a big portion all at once. In my young life right now I honestly feel like God is really stuffing me and the beautiful thing is that even though sometimes I worry that I may not be utilizing adequately (a glimpse into my insecurities), I WANT MORE and more…and more.
Late last year, my seasons began to transition from a full-of-life, up-and-running, everything-going-for-me, my-flower-is-blooming time into a much slower, more uncertain, stiller and feelingly stagnant place. I just didn’t get it, especially because I’d never felt that way before.. Never in my life had I felt that uncertain, quite empty and deprived of the grip I had on my life. I did feel like it was really not the time for it and tried to figure it all out in my own capacity for a while there. Lemme paint you a picture..
Google Maps is my friend on the road because I surely hate to feel lost. (I lowkey feel so betrayed when I use it and still get lost anyway…:’D) When you’re going the right way, I realized that lady doesn’t say a thing. And honestly, it gets me a bit anxious sometimes because I have no idea where I’m going and I feel the need to constantly be affirmed that I’m on the right track. And…see this..when you take a wrong turn, she either reroutes you in such a way that you’ll still get to where you were going anyway or routes you back onto the right road. Safe to say, Google Maps was God’s idea because I really see a reflection of Him in the way that it functions.
I felt so so lost because things had changed and God was so silent. That had me so nervous. At that time I realized more than ever how much I really didn’t have as much control of my life as I thought I did (it’s a really good thing from the spiritual growth perspective.) I’m truly nothing without Him. God is so gracious. I desperately sought Him after a few months of loud silence and I asked Him a feeble, “what’s happening to me?” What He said back, I promise I heard it almost audibly.. changed. my. life.
“Laura, it’s a dark season and IT’S IN ORDER.”
IT’S IN ORDER..IT’S IN ORDER..I can talk about this forever long because it’s really been the biggest portion of the serving on my plate. I could see it now. I could understand why He was silent. When you’re on track, the Google Maps chicca won’t say a thing. When you’re within the borders of His will – even though it doesn’t feel like so – God may not say a thing. What I appreciate though is that when we get to our wits end and His affirmation is the only thing between our turmoil and the peace He gives, He will say something. He is so gracious. He knows we do not have it all figured out and He will always hand us His help when we need it. Another thing is, when God is meant to speak, He will speak. He is perfect in His ways.
The secret is in first living to please God. When the King smiles, there is favor. Surrender.
Like a tree planted by streams of water
Psalms 1 was among the first Bible chapters taught to my brother and I as toddlers. I can almost vividly recall how we recited it on the pulpit time and time again. Now more than ever in my life, it rings clearly true, it’s fresh flesh in my life. The Word is truly living and active.
The Bible says that he who delights in the way of the Lord and meditates on His Word day and night is blessed. It goes further to say:
“He is like a tree, planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
When you stand right with God, you thrive in and out of season. When it’s time to bear fruit, you bear fruit but your leaf never withers because your root is richly nourished. Even when there is nothing to show of what you bear on the surface, you still glow and bloom. How beautiful…
It may sound like a contradiction, but purpose to be fruitful no matter what. Fruit is not necessarily in the tangible. Continue planting, watering, fertilizing and harvesting. But also know when to rest and embrace the transitions, keeping in mind that the end goal is to bear fruit that remains – fruit that leaves an indelible print of love and godliness on the lives you touch. Not fruit just because there’s a point you need to prove. GMO’s aren’t of God. At the end of the day, you want fruit that has the breath and blessing of God. Don’t let your leaves wither. Don’t be shaken to the ground. The stream of love and grace nourishes you through and through and you will glow even when “you shouldn’t.” In winter time, through the summer, you will still ooze the glory of a fruitful tree.
Can I tell out a tiny little secret? I really hope the Mister can dance coz I do love dancing, especially those…you know..cute couple dances. Haha. And, it sucks to dance with a poor dancer. I heard TD Jakes say some time that his wife Serita, says that these people dance to the words, not the beat. Lol. Anyway, I’m not here to diss y’all with two left feet, we love you anyway..:’D
Rhythm is a big part of the working of God. Everything is rhythmical. From the revolution and rotation of the earth, to the beat of the heart – there’s a natural life beat to which we all ought to rightly dance – in step with Him, within His rhythm. Life is a song. You go off-beat, you confuse the pattern and you need to find your way back into the rhythm lest you dance wrong through the song all the way to the end – and it won’t be worth it. You get tired from a dance you’ve been doing wrong all along.
Oh, bless the Lord for imagery, I see it so clearly…..
God is aware that we do not know the entire song word for word, beat for beat. He understands that we may therefore not know when to dance slow, when to rest a while and when to pick up the pace. He is aware that we may not always know what to anticipate and that some things may catch us off-guard. More to that, He doesn’t expect us to lean on our own understanding and that tells us therefore, that He gives us the understanding we need. Discernment, which is a cousin to wisdom and understanding, is about how sensitive we are to the motions and then wisdom takes it from there and helps you deal with the hows of handling things. The Word says that this discernment is trained by constant practice (Hebrews 5:14).
The Spirit of God who lives in you will guide you into discerning right. Do not fear to discern. Discernment is grown through constant practice which implies that the more you put to work the ability to discern, the better you get at it.
Embrace your season
An embrace is a sign of acceptance and it may sound like something so obvious to do but it’s truly not automatic to accept the seasons we’re in. Like I said, earlier, I felt that this season was completely wrongly timed. I had a career to grow, a lot to consistently build and a standing to find. I’m just being plainly honest about it to bring you into the mind of a real human dancing to a song they’ve never heard before and hoping the Lord loves my sync. It’s interesting, almost absurd, how at some point in the song, we think we’ve grasped it and now we know this song and we’ve sharpened our moves and then God templates a “Ha!” in the clouds and changes the rhythm in your face.
Guess what? Our life songs are so like our fingerprints. None is like another on this earth. Here, the often talked about comparison game comes to play. You just can’t play that game if you wanna walk in step with God. He didn’t create you like him/her. He didn’t write your story like He wrote theirs’. Yes, some seasons will be like something someone else has gone through, and therefore their counsel may help you, but no one can go through your season for you and you can’t stamp their methods into your story.
Two other impulses we must resist are to lag behind and to grow impatient with where we are. It is possible to get tired. I did get weary. But keep your eyes on Jesus always, in the highs and lows, the good and the hard. He graces you and strengthens you with love.
Embracing the season, helps you thrive in it.
Getting priorities right
Getting our priorities in order and choosing to focus on what is relevant for the hour and the season we are in is crucial to having a systematic plan that works for our lives. God is a God of order. It is in that order that excellence is found. He created the seasons to reflect the cycle of our own lives. Truly, there is a time for planting, a time of harvest, a time for eating the fruits of our labor and a time for dying to give way to new and sweeter fruit. This cycle is present in every area of our lives – emotionally, relationally, financially, professionally, and spiritually. As we embrace our seasons, understanding their purpose and looking forward to the blessings on the other side of them, we are able to weather the transitions gracefully and reap a bountiful harvest from each one.
My prayer for myself and for us all is that we will have the ability to judge our seasons accurately. That we will ably tell of where we are and be granted the wisdom we need to thrive wherever we are. That we may even be sensitive enough to see what is coming so we may ready our hearts and souls to dance to the rhythm. And that while we dance, we won’t be distracted by how the others’ dance is different from our own or be drawn to a different tune altogether. May we not slow-dance to a fast beat. May we not fast-pace the slower ones. May we not miss steps. If and when we do, may His love hold us up. May we keep our eyes on our Father, our dancing partner – not ignoring Him, stepping on His toes or insisting on a rhythm that He hasn’t organized for us.
Life is a beautiful journey. It won’t be worth it to live many lifeless years; let your years have life. Just dance and dance and dance – dance in the rhythm, dance in His arms.