Seasons of Life – Part 4

This is the final installment of the “Seasons of Life” series.  You can catch up by reading the other parts at the links below:

We wrapped up yesterday with the idea that we can’t live as victims to our circumstances.  Even when circumstances are hard, God is bigger than the circumstances and can redeem them for our good.

I’ve had my share of baggage and loss in this world. I was victimized as a child. I have suffered loss. I live with a very challenging situation at my house. Autism can be devastating to a family. The needs are very demanding. In addition, I have a large family. I have kids in multiple school settings (home, private, public) based on their needs. I’m married to a pastor with a congregation of people who sometimes have trials. All this can sometimes brew like a perfect storm leading to stress and lack of peace if I chose to focus solely on my circumstances.  If my circumstances where the measure of my life, then I’ll be honest. I would quit. I would go to bed.  Cover up my head and take a really, really, really long nap!  Like for a month.

But here’s the truth. If you were to ask me if I’m happy…do you know what my answer would be?  It would be:  When I choose to be.

When. I. Choose. To. Be.

Some days it’s an easier choice than others, but it is ALWAYS my choice. Will I live in darkness or light? Believing a lie or believing the truth. In defeat or in victory. A victim or a victor. It’s my choice. I can choose happiness or joy in the midst of my circumstances.

And how can I choose to be? Because of verse 11 in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 that says that God has planted eternity into our hearts. Eternity is the key.

This life may be hard…But this isn’t all there is! If it were, we are doomed. But it’s not! This life is just a passing vapor, and we will have all of eternity to spend with those we love. Those who have left us behind and those we lost too soon. And we won’t need wheelchairs or canes or oxygen tanks when we get there. My daughter will not be trapped in her own mind and she and I will walk together and talk and she will teach me of all the wonders of God that He has shown her.

There will be no good-byes, tears or heartbreaks. We won’t be pressed for time and our lives won’t be hectic and we won’t question if we’re making good choices. We won’t be lonely, sad or depressed. We will never, ever, feel distance from God because He will be with us and we will warm ourselves in the light of His glory. Peace and joy and comfort will be our companions and all will be made new and complete.

And there’s even more good news. When we walk faithfully through a tough season here on earth, we are sending ahead, to heaven, a treasure to use when you get there. This life may not be all there is, but it doesn’t go unnoticed by God. When we are faithful to Him in our struggle, in our hard seasons, He is pleased. He rewards our faithfulness.

God will redeem YOUR situation here on earth for His glory and He will reward YOU in Heaven for your faithfulness. And if this life is a vapor and that life is eternal then that’s where we need to focus and lay up the most treasures, hopes and dreams. A joyful (although temporary) life here on earth is dependent on the right view of our forever life with God in Heaven.

So we thrive in our current season by understanding Ecclesiastes 3.  There’s a time for everything.  Every season is made beautiful in God’s time.  An eternal view is the key to a joyful life.

I want to take a little more of your time, now that we’ve finished looking at Ecclesiastes and share 3 final thoughts.

1 – Don’t waste your struggle (hard season). Struggles come to everyone. If struggle is a part of living, then don’t waste yours living like a victim and becoming embittered. Let God redeem it for your good and His glory.

2 – Just like we can’t control the weather, we don’t always have control over the seasons of our life. But there is one season that we can do something about. If you are in a season of rebellion, then I would beg you to bring that season to a close. Maybe on the outside everything looks fine. But you know your heart, and now is the time to end that season of your life. It will come to no good and will only bring you heartache if you continue in this season. Turn back to God.

3 – Lastly, I want to close with this thought for you readers who are in your golden years. If you are a church goer- then you may have lamented your age with comments like:  ”I can’t serve like I used to. I wish I could help. I wish I could do more”…..but there is one statement that truly makes me sad…..”all I can do is pray”.

Do not underestimate you role in the body of Christ and in your family. You may not physically be able to do all that you’ve done in the past, but there is something far more valuable than your physical service and that is your prayers. Listen to me!  Prayer is the most powerful force there is. There is nothing more important that any of us can do. When Jesus cleared the temple of the thieves and money changers He said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

He didn’t say it will be called a house of

  • Preaching,
  • Singing
  • Programs
  • Potlucks

He said a house of prayer. And the church in America has lost it’s power in the house of God because the people of God have forgotten how to pray.

You can have that power. You have life experience. You have wisdom. You have walked with God for years and you can pray for the children, young people, marriages and families in your church like nobody else can. You can pray for your pastor and his family. Satan attacks them every bit as much as he attacks you and they need you to stand with them in prayer. You are the guards. You are the protectors of the church and your weapon is the outpouring of your prayers. Don’t think for one minute that because of your age or health that you can’t do anything in the church. You have the most important job there is. If we are to have revival in our churches it will come when the people of God get right with God and that will not happen apart from prayer. Every revival in history has started from a prayer meeting.

Pray. Pray without ceasing. You have time. If you can’t sleep. Pray. If you are alone often. Pray. Use this season and this time wisely. God has given it to you to do the most important work of your life.

Prayers are not limited by our life-time or time frames. They are made beautiful in God’s time. And the things you pray today may not see an answer until after you are gone, but an answer will come and it will be the result of the work of prayer you do today.

I would encourage every reader to embrace your season. It will be made beautiful in God’s time and then it will pass. Each season will bring new opportunities to see the wonder and faithfulness of God.  Don’t miss them.