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.
In the cold of a long dark winter filled with illness, death, car accidents, backed up septic, financial stress, homeschooling, the threat of political oppression and the day to day pressures of this sin fallen earth, there were times when I felt that everything was beyond my endurance.
Usually, I am pretty open to seeing the lesson God has for me in trial. This winter, however, all I could see was the struggle…and then the next struggle…and the next struggle.
As I continued to pray about what was going on in my life, I saw that just as I reached my breaking point, the struggle seemed to change. Repeatedly, I was going to the brink of myself and then was given just enough of a reprieve that I could move onto the next thing. Each struggle started and each struggle ended (or reached a point where we could move forward). At the end of the season of struggle, I slowed down just long enough for the nasty seasonal cold to catch up with me – and then it became pneumonia.
Again, why God?
Reflecting on the past months, I am now able to see that God used that time to teach me to trust Him; there was simply nothing else I could do. As I turned situation after situation over to the Lord, He was able to relieve me of the burden. All too often, I move forward on my own strength and don’t turn trials over until they become “too big” for me. In that approach, I am somehow believing that I am enough – at least up to a point – when the fact is that apart from God, I am nothing.
God has an amazing plan for each one of us and the only thing keeping us from it is…us.
Recognizing that there are times in our lives where we need to grow, heal, celebrate, mourn will help us to wait on God and trust Him for the season at hand and the strength to endure it until it is time for something else.
This was a hard year. I am thankful for the lessons learned, despite the pain. It was not a fun time but I know that that season waits for me.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.