“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
We grasp at the seasons we consider good. The being born seasons, the planting seasons where we joyfully await the fruit of our labor. The building and healing seasons, and the laughing and dancing seasons. Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything, a season for everything under the heavens. All of the seasons are necessary. Without the different seasons, we would not grow. We would not learn to rely on our Heavenly Father if the seasons were all easy.
I know that many believers, and the world in general, are enduring the difficult seasons: uprooting seasons, seasons where there is emptiness and mourning. There is even threat of killing and war. In these circumstances, we learn to lean on the Lord and His steady faithfulness. We learn to better love our neighbor. We learn to await His promises, and the joyous seasons. Embrace your season. This earthly life is temporary. Seasons don’t last forever, but the enduring love of our Father does.
Strength isn’t built overnight. It comes through weathering stormy seasons and emerging after you didn’t think it was possible. It is like building muscle. You can’t build muscle unless you are consistently working out and even gradually moving up to more difficult workouts or higher weights. You build strength by weathering small and large storms. I think a person can be born with a tendency for strength, but they must undergo some difficulty for that strength to be tested and built up.
There are not-so-distant seasons of my life where I look back and wonder “how did I do that?” Was that really me who lived through those things and made those hard decisions that didn’t make sense to others? Where I am now, I wonder, too. How am I living through this crazy season where nothing has stayed the same?The answer: grace. The grace of God was sufficient for that time. Grace is sufficient for today, too.
In whatever you are facing, His grace will be sufficient for you. I can’t promise you that it will be easy. But I can promise God is faithful. He tests us for our good. He loves us way too much for us to stay the same. Where we encounter difficulty, we can also cling to His grace and supernatural strength.
There will be a day when you look back and wonder how you made it. And you will make it. Take your Heavenly Father’s hand and discover the depths of His love as you go through the depths of difficulty. Discover who you really are. Let the storm transform you into a pillar of strength.
“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”~1 Peter 1:6-7
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”~Romans 8:38-39
Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! This day and every day, at every moment, you are totally and completely loved by God.
Have you ever examined your current life and found it is just not what you expected or wanted? At my current age, I thought I would be married with two children, living in a house
purchased by my husband and I. Obviously none of that has come to pass. For so many years I lived under certain assumptions about how life would go, that the milestones expected by society (and dare I say by some members of the Body of Christ?) would just fall into place. My life has turned out very different than the milestones expected by society. I have come to a place of joy and contentment. This did not come overnight. There are a few steps I’ve realized that those of us who are very single (& expected to be living life married by now) can benefit from:
Accept the disappointment. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, but will make it worse. Pour it out to God! Be honest with God. Talk to trusted people, other single friends, maybe even a counselor. Figure out what it is exactly that you are grieving. Put a name to it, realize your disappointment, but don’t let yourself stay there.
Accept the reality of your current situation. Most of all, find the blessings in it! Find the wisdom. For many of us, marrying at a young age may have been detrimental. In your current season of life, there are many blessings. In fact, single people are doing amazing things! We have more “free time” than married couples/parents. We have more time to focus solely on the Lord, not distracted by human love (1 Corinthians 7:34). Though it can be painful, there is much freedom found in singleness.
Pray to see the bigger vision. I’ve written before about this. At least for myself, I had a limited vision for my life. My Heavenly Father continues to expand my vision and show me new aspects of my self and the purpose for my life. There is so much more than marriage or children. He will surely do the same for you. When you are living within the bigger vision and understand it, you will find great peace and contentment. You can also ask loved ones or spiritual mentors how they see the Lord working through your life in order to gain more insight. The Lord has the full vision for our lives-we see but a glimpse.
Love others. We were created by Love, for love. You have the time, and you have love to give. For now, it’s not a spouse or children. However, there are so many others in need. Perhaps they even live within your home or right next door. Service is so important. Don’t dwell on your own single state. Build community.
Love yourself. I’m not talking narcissism. I’m talking about taking good care of yourself, a unique human being created in the image of God. You are a temple of God! Realize your own needs and the way God made you. Treat yourself with kindness and make sure you are not ignoring any part of yourself.
Cultivate a strong relationship with God. God made Eve for Adam. He didn’t allow Adam to be alone for long. We have the ability to create community with other people around us. Yet I don’t believe that living out an extended period of singleness is natural. It’s not. Celibacy is not a call given to many for a lifetime. It is a difficult call to walk out, as long as anyone is asked to walk it out. Only by leaning on the love of God can we do this. We must find our identity in Him and in living within His great love and abundance. Only by living in relationship with our Creator can we make sense of our lives.
On this day when society (at least American society) might make you feel sad due to the focus on couples, delight in the perfect love of God. Delight in the love of the people around you. Reach out and spread some love to those feeling hopeless or unloved. This life might not be what you expected or wanted. Yet it is your earthly life, and in it there is abundant purpose and blessing. No matter whether you are courting, married, or completely single for the Lord. Let’s live in the joy and freedom!
“Father, grant that I may be a bearer of Christ Jesus, your Son. Allow me to warm the often cold, impersonal scene of modern life with Your burning love. Strengthen me by Your Holy Spirit to carry out my mission of changing the world or some part of it for the better. Make me more energeticin setting right what I find wrong with the world instead of complaining about it. Amen.”~Taken from Living With Christ daily missal, June 7
I walked into find this on my desk one morning this week.
All of a sudden I felt a boost of strength. I felt keenly the love of not only my coworker, but also God’s love. Knowing that someone took extra time out of their morning to stop, buy me some tea, and to write Bible verses touched me deeply. Reading the verses and message on the cup also gave me strength for the day ahead, after weeks when I felt like nothing had gone right. It was a touch from my Father in Heaven, giving me a push to be what I needed to be for those I am put in place to serve. The problems melted away and I remembered that my Father and I were in this together–it was going to be alright for me and for my clients.
Sometimes we shrug off an inspiration to say something nice or feel “too busy” to do a small act of kindness. We may not do these acts because we think that they won’t mean much. The fact is, you never know what it could mean to someone. The small things really aren’t that small. They can mean a lot and make a huge impression on someone.
Step out and do the “small things.”
What are some small ways you show you care about those around you?
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7
Dear friend, you are of immense worth to your Heavenly Father! Every aspect of your being and of your life matters. If God cares about something even as mundane as the number of hairs on your head, He surely cares about everything else. Yes, everything. Your feelings, your strengths, your struggles, your health, your finances, your home, your relationships, your career, and those tiny, unspoken desires in your heart. Everything.
I asked God about His will in a certain area of my life, then wondered if it was silly to pray about it. He gave me the sense that no, it was not silly to pray about. After all, He loves me and dotes on me as a loving Father does. It was God who knit me together, body, mind, soul, and purpose, while I was in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). It was He who brought me into being, Who knew every moment of my life before I was even created. So that “silly” thing I prayed about? It actually matters to Him, because I matter to Him. Friend, even the hairs of our head are all numbered. That number changes each day as we shed (gross, yes, but true). So if God even tracks that seemingly insignificant detail? Every last detail about you and your life does matter to Him, because He loves you. Bring it to Him, whatever it is.
I will be entering into “sacred silence” during this Holy Week. Instead of stressing about what to write this week, I want to focus on my Savior. Look for some new posts next week, about a limitless life in Christ and about the temples we are walking around in (aka our bodies!). Maybe a book review about an amazing book will even find its way onto here!
Be assured of my prayers for you all. May you get to know His great and unendinglove for you and His willingness to lay down His very life so that you may live! May you know the truth of the Resurrection and that He is our Redeemer! I pray these truth sinks deep down into your heart and takes root! Be blessed.