In Every Season Turn, Turn, Turn

autumn-leaves-001

Fall.

Everything about it makes me want to consume every moment, experience and product. I can honestly say, it is my most favorite time of the year. This is for several reasons but one of the top on the list is the breathtaking views.

Recently, as I was teaching my students about the various happenings of fall, we discussed the scientific reason behind why the leaves change colors. We talked about the green pigment called chlorophyll and how green leaves signify the tree is still living. However we also mentioned that as much as we love the colorful leaves on the trees and as beautiful as they are, it means that the tree has stopped growing for a season.

Today, as I was thinking about this phenomenon and how much I love a colorful fall tree, God spoke. Each one of us find ourselves in the fall season of life. One moment we are vibrant, green and growing and then suddenly, as if we didn’t even notice, our growth comes to a halt.

As I look at my own life, I am humbled by the amount of times I see how God moved in me to act or serve in a way that was beyond myself and how much I have grown from those experiences. However, I also see times where God called me to act and serve but my focus shifted from Him to other priorities or circumstances. My opportunity to grow was overshadowed by my own selfish desire to focus on “more important” to-dos.

Oh to go back and revive those times…

But see that is just it, as much as we would like to go back and relive those moments over, the past is in the past. Forgiveness is where our living starts.

We can only turn full speed ahead and run the race set before us now.

As Paul so wonderfully speaks in Philippians 3:13,

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”

We must strain toward what is ahead, for we only have what is ahead, which is fleeting even as I type this blog.

We are not promised another breath but the great thing about our God is that He gives us our breath and as long as we are still breathing, we have His job to complete.

When we turn from our not so proud moments and turn to Him after a season of stagnant living, that is where true growth begins. It’s not just the 360 degree turn that matters, it’s what we do after that.

Just like the fall tree that goes through an entire season of no growth, we too can get wrapped up in an entire season that we will soon regret. Unless, we choose to make our dark season shorter than it has to be.

One aspect of the fall tree that speaks to us so vividly are the leaves. Just as the leaves turn, fade and die; we too must turn toward Christ and die to ourselves.

Women/Men of God, it’s time for us to turn so that we can die and in the process, making a beautiful and vibrant view for all the world to see.

Christ makes dying just as bright and beautiful as living.

When we die to what we were once holding onto so tightly, Christ can revive the growth in our hearts and our lives.

So, in every season turn, turn, turn toward Christ.

Let’s show the world the breathtaking view of our Savior who’s more beautiful than any fall snapshot can capture.

 

 

Approach with Boldness

Hebrews 13:20-21

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Encouragement.

At what point do we trade in our discouragement for encouragement?

Today as I was reading in the book of Hebrews, God spoke to me and led me into a time of encouragement. Every moment I meet with Jesus is meant to encourage my walk with Him and increase my faith in His perfect plan. Today was another time spent in His Word where I looked up with a new perspective and a new outlook on what this present season of waiting should look like.

In Hebrews chapter 13, Paul writes to encourage fellow believers to stay strong in their faith and encourage them on their road of persecution for the sake of the cross. Throughout the book of Hebrews, he addresses the audience, us as believers, to keep the faith and remember that our present struggles are not any comparison with the struggles of our Savior.

I am so thankful that God spoke through Paul to write these words of wisdom down. Often in our faith journey, we become depressed and weary, in need of some words of encouragement. This is where the book of Hebrews is like a light in the midst of our present weariness. Paul writes of His struggles in the faith and His ability to overcome with the strength that only comes from the Lord. What a powerful man of God!

the throne of grace

Sometimes after reading God’s Word, it is easy to turn away and pick up our lives where we left off before entering into the courts of our King. However, God’s Word should change us and refine us upon entering into His presence. Each time we approach His throne, we are to enter with the mindset that He is about to change us in some way that will not leave us the same.

I can say, honestly, that this is not always my thought when I read the Scriptures. Often, I enter as though my time with Him is like punching in on a time card. I enter and I exit with the same intent. Ouch, that hurt for me to get that out. I hope I’m not alone in this. I would go as far as to say that more often than not, we come to the Lord when our weariness is about to overtake us but on the days when life seems as though He is shining His light the brightest, we fail to come and spend quality and not quantity time with Him.

It’s time we change our whole approach when it comes to spending time, quality time, in the presence of our King. Doesn’t He deserve more that our 10 minute quiet time?

After all, does He not spend all day with us? (Whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not.)

Lord, help us to approach Your throne of grace in reverence and in expectation of what You are about to do in our hearts and lives. It’s time for us to drop our “time” mindset when it comes to entering into your presence. For in You, there is no concept of time or place but just a sanctuary of praise. Forgive us when we enter the sanctity of Your Word without expectation of hearing straight from You. Change our minds, hearts and souls to view our time with You as Sacred and Holy. For You are the Cornerstone on which we build our lives.