2020 has been quite the year so far. It has affected all of our lives in some way. Even though the changes have been big ones, what those changes look like exactly differs within each person’s life.
Changes can become discouraging with time, especially if they keep coming. So, for the days we need a little extra encouragement, here are a few reminders:
There are seasons of being hidden, of pain, of stretching, of pressure and refining fire. They are the seasons that can be uncomfortable, especially when we aren’t sure what’s going on. They forge in us a determination and faith to stand the test of coming seasons, a preparation for things to come.
Then there are seasons where we have grown more familiar with God’s ever careful hand. We recognize His pruning, His discipline, and His voice teaching us as we go, so we draw a deep breath and take the next step with Him.
Then there are other seasons – maybe still hidden – when it is time to rest. A time of quiet peace and restful rejuvenation. A time to catch a breath, or heal, or appreciate the exact moment we are in. Appreciating how far we have come because of how far He has brought us.
And of course, there are seasons of great joy! These may be the times when we are met face to face with a long awaited dream, or maybe we are introduced to a new part of our story that only God could have authored. As we grow, these seasons may even be ones marked by hardship, but we still find joy through it as we see how apparent God’s leading and comfort are every step of the way.
But in every season, whether up or down, we walk with the same God. He is the God who formed us in our mother’s womb, the God who watched our first steps, saw us grow into the men and women we are today. He is the God who loved us enough to die for us and the God whose love continues to pursue us today even in the midst of anything that is going on in and around us.
This love is different. It’s intimate, but not something we need to be afraid of. It’s a love that says, “I see you. I see your fear, I see your mistakes, I see your regrets. I see your insecurities, and I see your pain. I see the darkest corners of your life, and I’m here to set you free. I love you, I see you, and I’m not going anywhere. Follow me.”
It’s the love that encourages us forward when we don’t know what else to do, “I am with you. I will help you. I will teach you. You are mine; don’t be afraid. Trust Me.”
It’s the love that sets us free from the labels we put on ourselves or take upon ourselves when they are given to us by others, “I have called you Mine. I have called you redeemed. Your accusers have no bearing here because I have washed you clean. I am strength in your weakness.”
It’s the love that is offered by a mighty God, the One who created the very heavens and earth, who wants us to come close to Him. In His great patience and His great love, He becomes our best friend. Our greatest adventure partner. Our teacher, our leader, our healer, our Savior, our God.
Hard seasons don’t need to be bad seasons. Joy can be found in the midst of uncertainty. Peace can be found in the midst of chaos. Growth can continue in the midst of the feeble securities we held being taken away.
Our lives look very different right now. Some people have found reasons to be joyful in the midst of it, others still struggle day to day. Wherever we are and whatever our situation, we have the sure hope of a God who loves us and will see us through. Even when we are under pressure, God can use a season as seemingly upside down as this one to forge through the confusion and pain an unexpected reflection of His amazing love. We are secure in Him.
If you are struggling today, go to God with it. Lay out everything that is on your heart and trust Him with it. He is faithful.
If you have found joy within your season, praise Him! Then be a light to the others around you who are in need of encouragement too. Even if it’s uncomfortable, raw honesty and kindness go a long way.
There are adventures ahead, my friends. Let’s encourage each other through the preparation together.
Here’s to our journey!
Music for the journey:
Every Season by Nichole Nordeman
Seasons by Hillsong Worship
Shoulders by for KING & COUNTRY
To The Dreamers by for KING & COUNTRY