His Strength

The past few years have taught me the stark reality of the seasons of faith.  God is so good to us; he constantly gives us pictures of what the inner life is like by the things around us that He has created.  Dear reader, I don't know where you are in your journey currently, but here are some of the seasons I have been through:

Summers-a season of vibrancy, strength, and light.  Where all is well with my soul because faith seems easy.  Worship, praise, gratitude bubble up from within me and I can't hold them back.  It feels like God's pretense comes easy and it will never change.  I'm filled up by every spiritual discipline and my cup overflows.

Fall-decay, slowing down, and strain seem to mark this season.  It hums between bright skies and clouds.  There is an undercurrent that I need to pay attention to something or hold on while it lasts and that a stark season is on the horizon.  Yet there are times of cozying up to God, wrapping him around me like a warm blanket.  Being stopped by the beauty of the colors around me.  It is also a time to harvest the last of what God has been producing and growing in your life, gleaning the last bits through reflection.  

Winter- this season feels like solitude.  I picture it like Jesus going up to the mountain to be alone with the Father and pray.  There is contemplation and stark days, a desert dryness that I try to patch up with will power only to realize that I have to wait on my Father to speak and touch me.  Yet there is beauty in the simplicity of the quiet that settles over my soul, much like the hushed-wonder of fresh snow.

Spring- new life, the surprise of beauty, the feeling that around each corner is something new to discover.  When hope returns to your heart after the long winter.  Where the sun breaks through the clouds that may have been over you in sickness, doubt, or anxiety.  This is a season of the Holy Spirit showing you new things yet to be discovered and things that have lain dormant inside you, where God was working all along, finally push themselves above the surface of your fertile heart.

If you read my last post, you know that this past fall, God has directed me to start a year-long bible plan and meditate on the truths each day that He has brought to mind.  He has also thrust me into a spiritual winter season, one that I am giving myself to as once again His sanctifying work in my life is showing me new things He wants to change and heal in me.  This work will be deep and require some time in winter before the spring returns again.

Juxtaposed  with this call to embrace a barren life and get away with Him in the work He wants to do, is a new call to serve Him and one that is perplexing to be quite honest.  It seems that as I've accepted what He is doing in me, a work that feels solitary and reverent, He wants me to open myself up to new ways in ministry.  As I've thought--He can't use me right now,  it's not the right time--He's called me to something I desperately wanted to do in a different season of faith!  Yet this week I've been asked by different people to serve in greater ways in a ministry I currently serve in, be open to something new I've never done, and been given opportunities to share my faith with coworkers in a level I haven't been able to yet.

Seek the Lord and His strength Psalm 105:4. 

According to the commandment of the Lord, through Moses they were listed, each one with his task of serving or carrying.  Thus they were listed by him, as the Lord commanded Moses.  Numbers 4:49

Could it be that as I'm finally submitting to something that is hard to go through with my Jesus, that my heart is finally soft and open enough to do some of the work He's had for me all along?  That though I perceive myself as weak, this is the time to seek the Lord and His strength and I will take that with me in this season?  That the Lord determines the timing of the task He has for me and knows my heart better than I?

...created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2: 10

I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous...for there is a time for every matter and every work.  Ecclesiastes 3: 17

Waiting for me in my inbox today was this thought by Christine Cain, one of my favorite speakers:
Within our insufficiency exists remarkable potential. But we miss out on what God can do when we focus on what we don’t have and what we aren’t.

So my ending thought for you today is this:  no matter what season you are in, God can and will use you.  His strength is always available for you to carry out the works He has prepared for you to do.  Give yourself to it, and be amazed at what He can do!

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