"Lord you've been faithful to plant the seeds
And you will be faithful to always send your rain
Though the seasons change,
your love remains-"
sings a United Pursuit worship song that I so often listen to.
Seasons of life are so personal, and yet we talk about them so much in our "christian-ese" culture. We always hear and say that there are "different seasons to life", or we feel like God is "bringing us into a new season," yet I often feel so alone in my personal season with God.
There are communal seasons, such as what God is bringing a YWAM base community or a church community through at a certain time, and then there are personal seasons of growth, intensity, sweetness, worship, and so much more that God intentionally brings an individual through. And the personal season is what I want to begin to process about here.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart-"
King David tells me in the beginning of his 91st Psalm.
I recently have been so much more aware of the different seasons God has been bringing me through in the past year or so. There have been seasons of such sweetness in my relationship with God, there have been seasons of intense growth in my personal walk of faith, and there have been seasons of God expanding my capacity further than I ever thought I could stretch. Through each season I have learned exactly what I needed to at precisely the right time, but the one thing I have learned through the difference of each season is the steadfastness of God’s faithfulness in His love for me.
In the most recent season I’ve been going through, I have felt God bringing me back to the “why” I do what I do at YWAM Brisbane. I came to DTS two years ago as a scared, insecure, but passionate 19 year old; and when I made the two year commitment as a staff member of YWAM Brisbane, I came as a more confident, further passionate, but rather unsure 20 year old of exactly how to use the gifts God had given me to use in the place and role He was calling me to. Through staffing my first DTS (the first season of my staff commitment, if you will), God expanded my capacity of faith in him and love for others in ways that I have never been stretched before, and the grace He covered me in during that time was so sweet, even if I didn’t feel it often.
Through working in a logistical role on our base for the past three months (the second season), God has reaffirmed the foundation of my calling to Brisbane and specifically to staffing DTSs. He has chipped away at the lies and excuses I’ve built up because I’ve been so tired from the past season, He’s brought me into a new season of intentional resting by taking away the things that I would have otherwise relied on to rest so that I had to rely on Him alone for my rest and security, and now He has spoken so much promise of intimacy and closeness with Him about the next season of life I am about to enter - staffing my second DTS.
And though I am beginning to become so excited to see what God has in store for my next season of staffing, I wouldn't have gotten to this place if I didn't get the rest, processing time, and rejuvenation I needed out of my current season.
That’s the thing about seasons - they’re ever coming, ever changing, yet can be so drastically different that the one you may have just experienced. Seasons that God brings you through may last a few years, or just a few months; but each has it’s own definite purpose. Otherwise God wouldn’t walk with us through seasons; there would be no need for Him to do that - he would just drag us through one long season of life. But thankfully, that’s just not the way of our loving Father. Thankfully, he intentionally brings us through different seasons at different times when we need them, even if we don’t want them. You’ve probably already heard this phrase, but I’ll say it again for repetition’s sake - God always gives us what we need, not necessarily always what we want.
"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens-“
wise King Solomon claims.
"He has made everything beautiful in it's time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
He reassures me in his writings from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11)
So the lesson I’ve learned in my most recent season is to just be exactly where God placed me. There is purpose in it, and there is intentionality in it; so don’t rush it, don’t long for how things used to be, and although excitement for what is coming is good, sometimes it is okay to just sit and be where I am at with God.
I often imagine myself in this season as a little girl sitting at the feet of the throne of God, looking up at Him, but trying not to get distracted by other things going on around me - good memories from the past season, excitement for what the next DTS will bring, new faces of new students around our base. Yet all the while, God reaches out and gently lifts my chin back to look at Him once again, and I hear His soft voice asking “Will you be here with me today?”
If there is anything I would hope you take away from my writings about seasons, I hope that it’s the reassurance that it’s okay to be where you are at. That God does have you where he wants you, even if it feels uncomfortable or maybe even a little too easy - there is intentionality in the way God works, and how wonderful is that? Even if a season comes as a surprise or if God speaks sweet promises and words to you about the next season, there is a thankfulness that can and needs to be called up in each of our hearts for the season we are in, and the place we stand at with God, whether we feel like we are sitting in the splendour of His throne room or out in the desert desperately shouting to the wind for Him to show himself to us.
So, as Australia quite literally transitions seasons from winter to spring this year (or from summer to autumn, if you’re in the northern hemisphere), what is God asking you take with you into the next season? What and where is the transition of seasons for you, and what is there in store for you in the next season, as you take what you’ve learned and grown from and let go of in this past season?
You are not alone in letting go of past hurts, growing from the ways God has stretched you, and learning the ways of our ever loving, holy, and all-knowing Father. What more is there in store?
I sure can’t wait to find out, and I hope you will join me here at the feet of God, willing to sit and be in His presence with a healthy excitement and expectation that God will do exactly what He needs to in the next season of your life.
So here's one last challenge, this time not from me, but from Paul - "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong."
- 1 Corinthians 16:13