Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bold in All Seasons

In each year we experience different seasons. Typically we call them Spring, Summer, Fall, and, Winter. In Zimbabwe, my home as a child and later with Judi as a mission family, there were only two seasons, wet and dry. Here in California one wag as commented we have four seasons, fire, floods, earthquakes, and, riots. Our days are planned according to the annual seasons of our local. As I write this I am preparing the sermon series to be presented during Christmas of this year and one to be presented for the New Year. Seasons help us be prepared.
Life too has its seasons that go from birth to death. These seasons seem too often to catch us unaware. It takes an experience to cause us to see our sweet infant has become a demon two year old. The first time we cannot read the menu in a restaurant we realize we have entered middle age and need “cheater” glasses or grow longer arms. But, the seasons that catch us most by surprise are the seasons of tragedy, hardship, separation, and, loss.
These seasons we seem to fear when we would be better served by preparing for them. These seasons we ask God to remove rather than accepting them as seasons through which we will learn, grow stronger, and even, benefit from. While God has given us seasons He did not give us fear of those seasons. Paul, in his last days, reminded Timothy that he had given us power to get through these seasons. He had given us love so we could share these seasons and not bare them alone. He had given us common sense so we could figure out how to use them for our strength, security, and, peace (2 Timothy 1:7).
Fear causes us to be self preserving, while God asks us to rely on His Spirit of power, love and common sense - with no safety net. I want a promise of no pain, that is my safety net. I want a promise of financial security, another safety net. Maybe you want a new job, house, degree, child, or, healing – those would be your safety nets. Whatever your safety net is, it is not enough to take you through your seasons ready to build on that last season.
It is when we tell God how we want a season to end that we become the most separated from the very power given by God to see us through the season. When we do not open our hands to God so he can take what He wants and give us what we need then our seasons become a way of life most miserable. My sister Pamela Markey stood at the bedside of her youngest child whose prognosis from a severe head injury was bleak. She told me it was not until she gave him to God did she find peace and the strength to face the coming challenges. He lived.
A decade later she sat by the bedside of her husband knowing she had to do the same thing again. Again she found peace and the strength to go through the many problems in getting George home to Indiana from Kyrgyzstan for special treatment. He died.
Did God forsake her? She testifies to the pain of that incomparable loss while confessing she could not have survived it had she not given that season to God.
Pray not to have the season removed. Pray rather to be bold for God during what ever season through which you are journeying.

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