While living in Canada, we experienced four distinct seasons of the year, fall, winter, spring, and summer. Each season has its purpose in the eco-system. Summer is always full of life, from the plants to the animals. During summer, the birds are singing and our gardens produce fruit for us to enjoy. It’s always a wonderful time of year. Fall soon comes and the trees lose their leaves, along with their seeds. They fall to the ground and cover the forest in a thick, new, dense layer. The birds fly south and the animals get ready for hibernation. Winter soon covers our world in white, as we sit close to the fire, sipping our hot tea and coffee. It’s a time of rest and relaxation from the busyness of life. Soon the snow begins to melt, rivers get larger and the air becomes fresh once again. The smell of new life is in the air, as new growth takes to the earth. The song birds return, and the seeds that fell in the fall begin to grow and sprout. This happens year by year, perfectly designed by a good Father.
Seasons are important, beautiful, and needed. In my personal life, I’m always asking the question, “What season am I currently in?” Many times I desire to be in summer, but discover I’m really in winter. Can you track with what I’m saying? We must discern what distinct season we’re in. If we don’t recognize the season, we may miss its purpose and frustration soon sets in. The truth is, it’s not always summer in our lives and it’s not always winter either. The seasons have their purpose and always prepare us for the future.
There are many different seasons. There are seasons of rest, growing, learning, building, discipline, joy, patience, and fighting. I would not want to be resting, when I’m supposed to be fighting or fighting when I’m supposed to be resting. In 2 Samuel 11:1, King David didn’t recognize what season he was in and paid dearly for it. It was in the spring, when the kings go out to battle that David decided to stay home. During this time, David went up to the roof of his palace and saw the woman, Bathsheba bathing. His servants brought her to him, he slept with her, and she conceived a baby. This later led to king David killing her husband. It was the greatest failure in his life, all because he didn’t recognize the season he was in. He was supposed to be at war, fighting and conquering lands for the kingdom, but instead he chose to stay home and rest.
A number of years ago, I was so hungry to experience the presence of God in worship. I would lift my hands and press in as much as I knew how, trying to encounter God. I would jump, dance, and hold my hands in the air, until my arms hurt, but nothing happened. I was only getting frustrated. Looking around me at everyone else experiencing God, only made it worse. One day, I was having it out with God about the matter, when all of a sudden, God said in a casual, but gentle tone, “Why don’t you just give up?” I knew He really meant it. It wasn't a ploy to get me to keep worshipping. He really wanted me to just give up and rest, so I sat down in my chair, put my feet on the back of the chair in front of me, and just gave up trying. I simply watched the people around me encounter God and listened to the music. I didn’t do anything. Nothing happened, which I expected, because I thought I had to perform to feel God’s presence. All of a sudden, I began to feel waves of God’s love pour over me. This went on for the entire service, while I continued doing nothing. Right then, I entered into a season of rest with God in my worship. For about 4 months, I did this, while God showed me that I didn't have to work for His love. He showed me that I am loved, even if I fold my arms, keep my eyes open, and put my feet on the back of the chair. That was one season of worship. God also taught me in another season to worship Him, even when I feel nothing. It’s not one or the other, but both operating at the same time in my life. Both are equally important.
We are now in a New Year, 2017 and for many of us, we have entered a new season. For some, it’s a time of growth and learning. For others, it’s a time to rest and be filled. Whatever your season is, take hold of it. Squeeze every drop of life out of it you can, because it’s only for a short while. If you’re in a hard season, remember, it will pass. Joy and rest are right around the corner.
5 ways to champion your season:
Get alone with God and ask Him what you are supposed to do in this season.
Connect with friends that are close to you and let them in on your process. Create accountability.
Keep a journal. Write about your process and the things you are learning. Protect the treasures. They will save you in the future.
Fight discouragement and frustration, by looking into His face. It all falls away, when you behold His beauty.
Meditate on the Word. Hold it close to your heart. Let it be light to your feet and a map to your destiny.