Seasons

lemonThe Christmas decorations were placed back in their rightful containers. Some were wrapped with care, others placed without protection. They will stay in those boxes until the end of the year when we again celebrate the season. It’s always a sad time, packing away the trinkets. Many carry precious memories. But life moves on and it’s time for the next season. So we put them away until Christmas comes again.

Our lives are marked by seasons. Some seasons overflow with joy. We celebrate. We embrace the blessings God provides. We are thankful. Seasons of joy are what we live for. They excite us. They remind us we are loved. They give us a reason to celebrate. But would we honestly understand true joy without pain?

No one looks forward to seasons of pain. Not one person hopes for struggles. People don’t ask for hardship or tragedy or dark times and yet they come. They come because it is in those times we see strength. We persevere. We fall to our knees and beg for God to walk with us. It’s in those difficult times we understand God and His love a little more. And when we struggle through coming to the end of another season, we are forever changed. Our perception has been altered. The world around us hasn’t changed but the way we see it has. And joy, what about joy? Joy is that much sweeter.

Each January, we make promises and resolve to live better. It all sounds great but I have far more failed resolutions than successful ones. For me, change doesn’t come because of a date on the calendar or the time on a watch. My life changes through experiences. Those experiences are called seasons. And each season is important. It adds to my life. It changes me. It makes me the person God intended. As hard as life can be sometimes, I wouldn’t give up any seasons, good or difficult.

So, for the New Year I hope to look more intently to see God. I want to be thankful when life is grand and all of my prayers are answered. And I want to see His gentle hand when things seem unfair. More than anything, I want to use those seasons and memories and experiences to bless the people He places in my path.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance,  perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4 NIV)

One Step at a Time

English: Stepping Stones. Stepping stones acro...

English: Stepping Stones. Stepping stones across the River Wharfe close to the suspension bridge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New Year is here with its resolutions and promises. We make them every year vowing to get it right this time. We make our plans and work out the kinks so we can have success. Then life happens and changes everything. We get busy. Unexpected events arise. Or even worse tragedy strikes leaving us devastated.

I wonder what we would think if we knew the outcome of this year. I wonder what our reaction would be if God came to us and said, “HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE YEAR AHEAD. HERE ARE THE STRUGGLES. HERE ARE THE JOYS AND THE PAINS. LOOK AT THIS YEAR AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.” (I wrote in caps because I assume God has a loud voice.) I wonder what our reaction would be if we could see it all right now. Human nature wants to know the future. But God rarely shows it to us. I honestly don’t think we could handle it.

The Lord leads us one day at a time. Sometimes He even slows us to a snail’s because honestly, that’s all we can handle. If He gives us too much too quickly, we tend to run ahead using our own wisdom instead of following His. So, He holds us back allowing us to savor His presence and trust in His leading.

The beauty of it all is that in the end, we will look back to see His masterpiece. There will be areas of messiness. There will be mistakes. But His love will cover those sins and bring out the beauty

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccl. 3:11 NIV)

Father,

We pray this year we would follow You more closely. Lead us, guide us and walk with us each step of the way.

Amen

Be Still

Winter morning

Winter morning (Photo credit: blmiers2)

I wrote this blog a couple of years ago but thought it was worth repeating. I spent a lot of time in prayer this morning thinking of the upcoming New Year and what the Lord has for me. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccl. 3:11 NIV)

I had bible study today. I love bible study. And I love Beth Moore. She makes me laugh, cry and most definitely ponder. Today she shared the scripture “Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:10 NIV) She used it in reference to God’s healing. She talked about how she had gotten so busy with all that she needs to get done in a week she had not allowed God to heal a hurt that had happened. She also told a story of how her Mom used to put pin curlers in her hair as a child on Sat. night. Her Mom wanted her to be clean and have curled hair so she could look pretty for church on Sunday. She talked about how her Mom made her “be still” so she could put the curlers in her hair. She said that is what God wants for us. Sometimes, we just have to be still enough for Him to work.

I had a little different take on it. Or maybe, I had the idea to take it a little further. I think God wants us to be still because He wants us to be beautiful. He is washing, scrubbing and primping to make us pretty. He desires that we look like Him and so He is continuously trying to wash away the grime of life. He wants to rid us of the dirt and the muck the world has thrown at us. But, in order for Him to do that, we must be still. We must spend time with Him so He can work in us. We must be silent and listen at times while He gently washes away all that the enemy has tried to lay on us. We must be still and listen to His truth and let it wash over us. It will cleanse us and make us new. But we have to stand still long enough for Him to do His work.

I think we do get busy with all of the responsibilities we have in life. We have a lot to take care of. But often, especially women, we neglect ourselves. We long to be beautiful, but we don’t have the time for it. We desire to live Godly lives, but we can’t seem to discipline ourselves to do it. We want to be different, we want to change, we want all that God has for us, but we don’t stay idle long enough to let God do anything. We live in a quick fix society and that’s how we live our lives. If we have to wait for anything for longer than 5 minutes, we become impatient. It’s the same with God. We want all of the benefits without any of the waiting. We want all of the rewards without any of the work. We want all of the treasures without any of the searching.

God wants us to seek Him. He wants us to find Him. He wants us to desire Him. When we don’t, we become bogged down with the ugliness of the world. But when we are quiet and still, God speaks. God works. God heals. He makes us more like Him. He makes us a reflection of Him full of beauty. But we must be still.

May this upcoming year be filled with peace and joy. Blessings to you!!