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Steady and the Seasons

May 23, 2009

For the past several months, the element of change; primarily that which is ordered by God, has been something of much pondering. Everyone who traverses the valley of decisions goes through a sequence of seasons during the journey. Each one is perimetered by set of realities which converge and continue for a time; creating an essence that will become unique to that particular season. As time progresses, this formula will continuously be altered until finally, the season is forever gone; despite any future endeavor to reassemble the components. (Kind of like a class reunion. The pieces are there, but the ambience of that earlier season is beyond capture) Subsequently, a new set of realities emerge that present one with an array of unknown variables and questions as to how things will progress in these uncharted waters. There is something inherantly fascinating about entering a new season.

Oftentimes the change in seasons is desired and sought after, such as moving from the realm of acedemia to the workplace, getting married, or what have you. Much planning and expectation goes into such shifts and while one expects their life to take on a new direction, there are usually no monumental surprises. Other times, however, the change of seasons can be very unexpected such as when tragedy strikes or any number of conditions arise that forever change the course of events. When we learned that our oldest son was autistic, it added a variable that we previously hadn’t considered. On a more serious note, last week, while driving home at 3:00am, I fell asleep for a moment and awakened to find myself dangerously close to the path of an oncoming semi. After correcting my course, I began to think of how this household would have been affected had I not awakened.

Still other seasons are not so much drastic alterations in course, but rather gradual trends that in time transform into an era. These shifts come and go with little fanfare or observance until somewhere in the future people look back and realize that a profound alteration has transpired. In other words, day in and day out, one will not notice much in the way that a society is shifting. But when one compares the present to a day ten or twenty years previous, there will be distinct differences in a host of areas. One only has to look at this country today and compare it with forty years ago to know that the United States of today is not the country that most of us grew up in. This shifting is of a most serious nature, but was so slight that it went unnoticed from one day to the next.  

Yet despite the continuing sequence of seasons that one goes through; each one having an essence all its own, a lifetime is but a seemingly insignificant portion of years in comparison to the full embodiment of time. Even a lifetime that’s full of days is as a vapor that appears for a short time and then vanishes. A hundred years or so after one leaves this world, the memory of them will be largely forgotten, unless they reached a profound level of notoriety. (a factor which carries absolutely no weight in eternity) As if this isn’t difficult enough to fathom, time itself; that being the portion of existance which can be measured by seasons and paradigms, is merely an insignificant ripple on the everlasting ocean of eternity. In the grand panorama of all that is, a lifetime is all but invisible. Yet it is within that microscopic portion of time in which one passes through this world, that eternal destinations are settled and rewards secured.

Suddenly, the class reunion doesn’t seem very important.

Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Proverbs 27:1 “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Just a thought on a post that has already wandered much. The day of judgment is not a moving target. It is a set moment in time that God has already established. 

This morning I was thinking about the aspect of giving our “all” to the Lord and holding nothing back. A large portion of giving the Lord Jesus our all is to be ready to move into a new season when it’s time to do so. For the saint, every season in the Son will have memories of battles won, lessons learned, moments of sweet fellowship, and what have you. Yet there’s a real danger in clinging to a season when the Lord is trying to move us on to the next theater of operation. Oftentimes at night I go outside to pray under the stars. In addition to always being an awesome time in the Lord, it also reminds me of when I first came to Jesus in 1983 when I would do the same thing under the same stars. I have fond memories of those early days as one who had just been born of the Spirit. And yet I have no desire to return to that season. I want to be where the Lord is working today.

The following passage comes from the account of Elijah and has been in my mind for months:

I Kings 17:3-6 “Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before jordan.
And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”
So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

I Kings 17:7-9 “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the lane.
And the word of the LORD came unto him saying,
Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.”  

The Lord was providing for Elijah in the midst of what becoming a grievous famine. As the ravens brought food twice a day, right on schedule, something else was beginning to transpire on the scene. The brook was beginning to wane and finally it dried up completely. God was moving Elijah to another season; one that would lead to the sustaining of a certain widow and her son until the day that the Lord sent rain upon the earth. There is something about when the Lord calls for an alteration of circumstances that is fascinating, and yet it’s far more profound that we can grasp.

What does all of this mean in May of 2009? We are in a season of preparedness and separation; one that may end with little warning. The saints are being drawn closer to Jesus and called to let go of any nostalgic enfatuation that might facilitate a retreat to that which is past. We must continue to let go of yesterday, lay up treasure in heaven and watch diligently. That our hearts would truly be in heavenly places and that we would remember that whatever season we may currently find ourselves, it won’t last very long.

Sorry for rambling so much. I wish to all a blessed weekend in Jesus.

John 12:25-26 “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
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8 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your insightful and authentic thoughts. It’s always a blessing to read how others perceive God’s presence and perspective, and I truly enjoyed reading yours.
    Blessings,
    Mary


  2. Hi Mary. Thanks for stopping by and offering your thoughts. It’s a continual prayer that the Lord will continue to bring each of us ever closer to him. I’ll swing by your site when I get a chance.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  3. Ummmmm it’s becoming scary how significant your posts are to what I am walking through at this time. 😉 In a good way of course… I have read this twice now, and am thankful at how completely the Lord uses you to reach His kiddos. Especially this:

    “Yet there’s a real danger in clinging to a season when the Lord is trying to move us on to the next theater of operation.”

    The Lord had to pry my white-knuckles off, but He was successful and what He has now is so much more than I ever could have imagined. There is a danger in clinging to a season, because while it may have held part of His plan, it is fullness in Him that He wants. My prayer was to be and do all that I was created to be and do, why was it so hard to let go, knowing that He has my best interests at heart?

    Thank you for this, I feel like I’ve just been to church…

    Debs


  4. Hi Timbob,

    It’s funny how things can change so gradually and subtlely that we don’t even notice it. Somebody told me a story once about a frog that jumped into a pot of water on the stove. At the time the frog jumped in, the water was kind of lukewarm and felt good. As the frog sat there basking in the warm, comfortable water and getting drowsy , he didn’t realize until it was too late that the water was slowly getting hotter and hotter. The frog ended up being boiled to death. As a child of God, I want to be aware of the present season in which I am living, not only what is transpiring in the world, but especially what is transpiring in the church.

    There is a simple chorus we sing sometimes that says,

    Lord, whatever You’re doing in this season, don’t do it without me, don’t do it without me.

    I don’t want to forgot that Jesus has called me to be a “labourer together with him.” If it’s time to sow, I want to sow. If it’s time to reap, I want to reap. When it’s time to rejoice, I want to rejoice, etc.

    Thanks for this reminder to be sensitive and aware of what is going on according to God’s timetable.

    Blessings,

    Carol


  5. Praise God–though the season ahead looks dark and scary, the darkness can only last until we enter it. Then the light of His presence within our spirits must dispel it, at least so far as that little bit of it around us. When the darkness broods darker, the light shines brighter. People will see His light in us and be drawn to Him.

    Grace and peace, Cindy


  6. Hi Deb. I’ve tried to hang onto seasons in the past. It’s impossible because time keeps on marching forward and such efforts become increasingly frustrating. But when we let go and place our complete confidence in the Lord, there’s a sweet peace and knowing that we’re truly not of this world and have an inheritance incorruptable.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  7. Hi Carol. The frog analogy is an awesome one. The daily driftings from one day to the next barely register, but and by the time they become undeniable one may have reached a point that’s beyond remedy. How imperative it is for us to abide close to Jesus and be continuously atuned.

    Thanks for stopping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.


  8. Hi cindy. This is so true. A candle may not seem very bright, but place it in a dark void and it almost seems to shine like the sun. If we’re abiding in Christ, we will never walk in darkness.

    Thanks so much for stoping by. Blessings always in Jesus name.



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