Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Just a Season

Day two of combining was underway when I found myself driving out to the field with lunch for my husband. I also had one little boy who was going to switch places with his little brother so they both could get a turn in one of their favorite pieces of farm equipment. His excitement was overflowing, but mine was not. My thoughts were focused on the jobs I’d left behind and the countless trips I’d yet to make. I wondered how long harvest would take this year, if the weather would cooperate and the breakdowns would be few. As my mind raced, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “It’s only a season.”

Those four simple words were a real perspective changing statement. Harvest had only begun and I was already consumed with the crazy schedule, the work, the time, the stress, the unknowns and potential frustration. Rather than thinking about the crop we were harvesting and the way God was providing, my mind lingered on the selfish thoughts and the changes this season on the farm demanded.

Friend, you don’t have to live on a farm to experience the harvest season. Or the planting season (when new growth begins) or calving season (when new life happens) for that matter. There are seasons in all walks of life and areas of work. We experience seasons in our faith journey as well.

Some are long, others short. They can be enjoyable or they may require extra effort. Seasons of grief can be dark and lonely, while seasons of growth are full of life and joy. Certain seasons are painful and full of suffering, yet others are marked by progress and comfort. They all have unique challenges and they often overlap.

Though seasons vary greatly, they have some similarities. They happen for a purpose. On the farm, it’s obvious why we need harvest season; the reasons are not always so clear in life. I’m pretty sure we could all pick a season we could live without…maybe you are in one now.  Seasons don’t last forever…though sometimes it feels like it. A new season will come, and it will have challenges of its own. These periods of time bring results and are opportunities for God to work.

I think it’s easy to understand seasons have their place and their purpose, Ecclesiastes 3:1 expands on this truth - “There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under the heaven…” It’s a given there are seasons in farming, parenting and life, but what are we to do in them?

That day in the field, it was good to be reminded harvest was a season, but that didn’t change the fact that the days could be hard, stress might come and frustration might build. So my mind went to work and God led me to His Word. The seasons may change, but God’s expectations stay the same. So as I searched the Scriptures for wisdom to help me walk thru harvest, I found insight for all seasons of life.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 was the first passage to jump out at me. Here we read, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good."

Friend, do you see some key action verbs in these verses? Fear, walk, love, serve and obey. Whether you are harvesting beans, changing diapers, parenting a teen or experiencing the empty nest this is what we need to do. No matter what season we are in, these are actions God commands. So today in your life what does it look like to fear the Lord? To follow and obey? To love and worship Him? How can you do this in your present season of life?

Another verse that rose to the surface was Micah 6:8 - "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Again, powerful words of wisdom regardless of what season we find ourselves in. Today, what will this look like in your life?

Finally, a little more biblical insight directly related to the harvest season, which if you think about it from a spiritual standpoint - it's a season we are always in! In Proverbs 10:5, Solomon says this, "He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son." As I tried to instruct my 13 year old son with this truth during morning devotionals, God did the same with me, His daughter. Friend, regardless of what season we're in, when there's work to do it needs to be done. Not just because we reap what we sow and make a living with the work we do, but we please the One who calls us daughter. 

To close, the verses that have really been speaking to my heart as harvest continues; Galatians 6:9-10 where Paul writes, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Friend, if you're in a season that leaves you a bit stressed or one that can create tension, I encourage you to write these words down and carry them with you or memorize them and etch them on your heart. God will bring them to mind when you need encouragement to do what is right (often what doesn't come naturally) and strength to keep pressing on. His Word is living and active and it's what we need in every season of life! 

Regardless of what season you are in, I pray you remember the One who controls the seasons that come. And seek Him as you walk the path He has you on.

Dear Heavenly Father, 
Lord, we know life is full of seasons and they are full of ups and downs, but help us remember that You are in control of them all. As we walk thru our unique, individual seasons may we fear you, follow you, love you, serve you and obey you. Help us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly. May we work hard even when times are hard. May we plant seeds and reap a harvest. Encourage us with your Word Lord, comfort and convict us with it too. Father when the season we are in leaves us empty or discouraged, angry or anxious, I pray you would set our eyes on you. Remind us it is just a season and then help us remember what you expect us to do. Fill us with Your Spirit so that we can walk in your ways, do good and glorify you. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful lesson from the farm today and one that spoke to my soul. Thank you!! LOVE all the TRUTH. It fills me up.

    Blessings,

    Wendy

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Wendy! So grateful God met you here...that was my prayer! Asking Him to guide you through the season He has you in!! Blessings back!!

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  2. Jill, Wendy echoed my EXACT sentiments. Thank you for this life-giving post. I love you... xoxo noelle

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    1. Noelle, what a joy to see your name here! Grateful to hear from you and thankful for your encouraging words. May God continue to equip you as you walk thru the seasons you are experiencing today and in the days to come!

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