Embrace the Season

Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time and a season for everything and there is a purpose to it all. Your season may be Fall. There are a lot of changes taking place in your life. In Some areas, it’s all falling apart. In others you’re holding strong.

Perhaps you’re in a dry season. You’ve been stripped of everything you’ve worked hard for. Like winter; every area of your life seems bare, it’s going nowhere. Everything seems fruitless and pointless. What makes matters worse is when everyone around you seems to be growing and flourishing and you, you’re standing still. Like someone hit the pause button on your life.

I’ve had seasons where I thought I wouldn’t make it. Some time ago my life had just blew apart. I was on the bathroom floor crying and screaming, Why God? Why?

I heard God say, Wrong question.

 I sat up angry and confused and said, What do you mean wrong question, I’m the one doing the asking!

Then He said, It’s not why you should be asking, it’s Who! Who is in control?

That’s a good question, I thought. Who is in control? Just because I’m having the worst day of my life, it doesn’t mean that God stopped being Alpha and Omega of my life. He said He would never leave me or forsake me. As far as I know, never means never. Good or bad day, He’ll never leave my side. He doesn’t take sick days, or pop out for a lunch break. My bad day isn’t the result of God being out on vacation. So as bad as things may be, I’m not in this alone, God is with me and He can get me through this!

God is a Promise Keeper. When I got saved He made a promise to me. He said that He has a plan for me. The situations in my life may change but God’s plans for me will never change. Things may rock me, but they won’t harm me. Things may be rough right now but according to His word I will succeed, I have hope and a great future ahead of me.

I made up my mind that day. Whether it’s the worst day or the best day of my life, I’m going to hold on to God’s promise like my life depends on it. No matter how it looks, I’m going to judge Him who promised faithful and If I struggle with unbelief. He’s going to give me the encouragement I need to overcome my unbelief. I’m not alone in this I can and will lean on Him.

What did God promise you?

Your fall and winters are just seasons, they’re temporary. Some falls and winters are worse than others. Yet we are encouraged by our Father who loves us and sent His beloved Son to die for us to count it All joy!

I have to be honest with you, I don’t enjoy these seasons but I can’t deny that these were the seasons that refined me. Where faith was built up and hope renewed. I learned how to tune into God’s voice in the midst of the lies and accusations of the enemy during these seasons. It drew me closer to God and I saw a Love for me that is beyond words.

There is a purpose to your lack, droughts and afflictions. According to His promise your pain will not be in vain. I’ve come to see the low points in my life as the fertilizer that prepares me for the fruit that’s about to come. The vehicle that carries me into my Spring and Summers. You may not be in that place where you can celebrate in the midst of your trials yet, but you can have rest and peace in them knowing that God is with you and for you.

Whatever season you’re in, I want to encourage you to embrace it. While you’re in it I want you to hold on to something that’s proven and true, He Who Promised Is Faithful! Embrace the Season. 🙂

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Jesus Is Love

GodisLoveA few years back, I shared with you a revelation God had given me about Love as it’s defined in 1 Corinthians 13 in the NIV. I remember the first time I read it as a new believer, love is patient, love is kind…” After the first few lines I thought, I’m toast! I can’t do all of this, not even on my best days. Then one day God shed His light on the subject. He shared that love is not a thing, Love is a person. God identifies Himself as love and His love was made perfect through Jesus. God challenged me to see His Son in these scriptures, so I did, I let Jesus’ name take the place of Love and what followed was one of those revelations that changed my life and view of love forever. I want to share this picture of Christ with you through the amplified version. I hope you’re blessed by it.

1 Corinthians 13:2-8; 13 AMP Substituting love” for “Jesus”. Please note the changes are mine. Enjoy this portrait of Love.

  If I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but I don’t have Jesus [to reach out to others], I am nothing.  If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but I don’t have Jesus, it does me no good at all.

Jesus endures with patience and serenity, He is kind and thoughtful, He’s not jealous or envious; He does not brag and He’s not proud or arrogant. Jesus is not rude; He’s not self-seeking, He’s not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; He doesn’t take into account a wrong endured.  Jesus doesn’t rejoice at injustice, He rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Jesus bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], He endures all things [without weakening].

Jesus never fails [it never fades nor ends for Him]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away.

And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation] and Jesus [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is Love Himself, Jesus Christ.

-Amen. 🙂

Click here to read the original post, Love By Its True Name

 

My Story

My Dad passed away several months ago. The pain and the grief I feel is beyond words. Our relationship was far from perfect. There were  good times and bad times but at the end of the day he was still Dad. As one of his only remaining relatives I bore the difficult task of settling his personal affairs. I was at the bank to get some papers notarized, the teller read the heading of some of my documents and looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry for you loss. My Dad is still with us and I can’t imagine life without him.”

I could feel the grief and overwhelming pain I fought so hard to suppress bubble back to the surface. I swiped at my eyes in an attempt to stop the tears before they fell. Keep it together. I said to myself. Don’t fall apart. Not now, not here! I politely smiled at the teller as I forced the image of my Dad unresponsive in a hospital bed out of my head. The memory of our last conversation flashed before me and I thought, “Great. I could see the headlines now Lord; Crazy woman breaks down in bank! News at 11.”

Then I heard the Father say, “Share your story.” I asked the teller if is she was a believer and she said yes. I then told her that my dad was an unbeliever for as long as I could remember. A few months prior to his heart attack I was prompted to share Jesus with him. I’ve shared Jesus with him in the past to no avail. So I was hesitant when God asked me to do it again, especially since the last time I shared Christ with him, my husband and I got burned. God kept nudging so I said, “Ok Lord, don’t think I won’t say I told you so.”

Over the next few months, whatever Jesus revealed to me in the scripture, I would share with my dad. To my surprise he was receptive, he had questions, a lot of them and he didn’t hesitate to ask me. I would seek the Father, then I’d share the answer that was revealed to me. It was kind of strange at first, the roles were reversed. I was the teacher and he was the student. We even joked about it, but I knew God was doing something significant here because for someone reason my dad wasn’t letting this new dynamic get in the way of his quest for the truth. This wasn’t an easy task, my Dad said a lot of hurtful things to me and there was no apology from him in sight. Yet, I felt compelled to obey the prompting of the Lord and I held on to God’s promise that He alone  will heal my heart.

During our last conversation, my Dad, the one who resisted my faith and relationship with God the most said to me, “I got it! I finally got it! Thank you daughter for the enlightenment.” That moment felt glorious and victorious, my whole being said “Thank you God, I guess you told me so!” We must have said I love you about five or six times and he promised to call the following week to congratulate my son on his high school graduation. That was a Tuesday. That Thursday afternoon I got a call from the emergency room, “Your dad had a heart attack, he may not make it through the night.”

It’s not easy losing a parent but what gives me strength and a peace I can’t explain is knowing that my Dad received the salvation of our Lord Jesus. My joy is that God used me, His beloved daughter, as a vessel to usher in that salvation. There were tears in the teller’s eyes. I asked her, “Is your Dad saved, has he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior?” She said, “I think so, but I plan to make sure. I can’t wait to share your story with my Dad.”

This is Love

I walked into that bank with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I walked out refreshed, lifted and comforted by Christ Himself. I believe this is what Jesus meant when He said, no greater love is this than to lay down one’s life for another. I was given the option to stay in that dark place or put my grief aside to give hope to another. In the midst of my “sacrifice” God took the grief I laid down that was so heavy and He gave me His cross, which was light. At least two people, the banker and her father, were blessed and I walked away comforted and divinely used by God. When you lay down your life for another  you don’t lose anything you gain everything, you gain… more of Him!

It’s moments like these that cause me to fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus, it’s why I’m still in Love after all of these years.