Roots are Neat

Winter, spring, summer, fall.  In case you live where I do, those are called seasons. I only really experience summer, winter, and more summer. But I’ve heard about the other seasons so I’m sure they exist.  Plus the Bible says there’s a lot of seasons. Look it up. It’s true. ( Ecclesiastes 3) Sometimes, we are faced with the very important  question, ” What is your favorite season?”  That’s a tough one for me because I like them both ( summer and winter) for different reasons. I love scarves and jackets in the winter and swimming and summer dresses in the summer. But near the end of any season I’m ready for the change of the next season. When it starts getting too hot, I’m ready to be sipping my white mocha that warms my hands in the winter. But when it gets too cold, I look forward to laying out by the beach again.   But there is always a transition period where we have to adjust and get prepared for the next season. I’d say it is the season between seasons. Also known as a season of rest. God did it,  so we can too.

Just a week ago I was in the midst of the most busy and stressful season of my life. It was a blur of work, school, church, and barely any sleep. I wasn’t sure how long it would last but I was daily on my knees begging God for it to end. God put it on my heart to stop wishing for a new season and accept and learn from the one I was in. I did that and I learned so much. But I promised God  I would start doing certain things as soon as the insanity ended. I made lists of things I would do : Work on more art projects, read more books, Spend more quiet prayer time with God,  excercise more, spend more time with friends, eat healthier, start a blog and write more often so I publish books some day,  clean the house , focus more on certain ministries,  etc. That season lasted for a few months. Well suddenly school is over, I got laid off from one of my jobs and that season is over. Just like that. God has provided me with some money for a little bit,  but I know that  I need to look for a full-time job. Part of me wants to go into overdrive, looking for work,  going back to school to get my masters,  or making some kind of big future plans to jump right into and fill my life up again. I almost feel guilty for having four days off a week and just doing anything I want to. But I am reminded of that list and I am working on it and enjoying it so much. But I keep facing the question ( in my own head and every other person that asks me)  ” So what are you going to do now?”   I almost want to make up some cool answer about an exciting career. But in reality, if you copy and paste the list of things above, that basically fills the blank to answer that question. No that’s not all I’m going to do forever, but it is the next season. I need it to breathe a little. We all need some time to clear our heads so we can hear God and prepare our selves for the work ahead. We all need a season of rest;  to be still and know He is God. But honestly when seasons change, it can be scary. As much as I had going on in the last season, I still had to get up everyday and go to work and school. I was accountable to other people.   With this season, things I want to do depend on my own discipline.  This season comes with a new responsiblity.

You may be in a season of drought and struggle. Maybe you are tired and begging God for it to be over. Make your list of things you will do when you transition to the next season. But after that, be present in your season and cling to Jesus. He will carry you through.  You might be in  a great season of blessing and provision. Don’t take your blessings for granted. Be wise and look to God to guide you. Some of you may be in between the seasons.  You have many decisions to make about what to do next. Do the things you don’t have time for when things are busy. Be quiet  and really listen to God.  I want to encourage you no matter what season you are in. Remember that  we are to have no worries in a year of drought and never fail to bear fruit.( Jer 17:8)  Even in our good season we can become lazy and self-sufficient and that will keep us from bearing fruit.  I don’t know about you but I like to be on top of my game when leading a ministry or teaching.  But just to be real, we cannot always be in that place. In my crazy season I was plugging into the strength of God because I was going straight from work into a ministry. I was leading even when I was tired. It’s so tough to pour into other’s lives when we are tired.  But we need to be present in and  out of season. Let’s stop wishing for what could be or will be, and accept what is, while trusting that God will use us.   As long as we plant ourselves by the water and remain in Christ we can bear much fruit. But how do we remain in Christ?

How does a tree get its water? Or a vine remain in the branches? The roots go deep and it stays connected. We shouldn’t  let our circumstances cause us to disconnect from God. But it happens. We become so busy and tired that our prayers are more about apologizing to God. One time during my busy season of insanity I was telling someone about what I think God wants me to do in a situation. Then suddenly I realized I hadn’t prayed in a week. Yes God can speak to us throughout the day and in any way He wants. But if we are just going, going, going, how do we know if we are even hearing God  and it’s not just our own voice?  Good and bad and in between seasons can all have ways to distract us from depending on God. Let’s trust God and continue to send our roots out to the stream so when the heat comes we will not fear and our leaves will always be green. God will still use us to disciple, encourage, teach,  and love others not matter what is going on around us. We cannot bear fruit on our own. If we keep our eyes on Christ, we won’t just survive, but we will thrive regardless of the calm or storm. Let’s always stay quiet before God and let Him lead us as we grow.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.  What is your favorite season? Look back at the different seasons you have been through.  What have you learned?

“He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8

” Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ” John 15 :4-5

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