Seasons

“Two are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

 

Seasons come and seasons go. Just in typing that I get an image of the swaying tide, washing in and out, sometimes smoothly and quietly rolling across the sandy beach then slowly drifting back out to sea taking nothing with it and leaving only the desire for it to come again, yet other times you can hear it roaring in from way out in the ocean. With every inch of distance it gains it grows in strength and size raising it’s foaming head before it finally comes crashing in against the rocks. It comes in farther than the quiet, peaceful tide. It hurts as it slaps your legs, knocking you off balance, gripping whatever is below and pulling it back out to sea as it scrapes across your skin, burning and stinging, no doubt leaving scars. The once calm sand and settled rocks have been so disturbed by it’s violence that they’ve been changed and shifted never again to lie exactly where they were before. You were standing when it came in but it’s tossed you around so much that you’ve now lost your footing and are down, you try to stand before it sweeps you completely out to sea. The next moment dictates if you will die or survive. There’s a lighthouse that both can see, yet only one keeps their eyes on the light. Those that have nothing to grab hold of to keep their head above the water or that refuse to grab hold of because they think and/or believe they can swim their way out will surely die. The other, have an ever present help in the time of trouble, a permanent floatation device and though they might swallow a bunch of salt water in the process it only adds to their seasoning flavor that they will someday sprinkle all over the earth after the storm settles.

 

What season do you find yourself in right now? Are you wading in the calm waters, enjoying the playful, gentle waves where your focus and perspective is on the joy of it all? Or, are you bleeding and bruised from the beating and wishing it would end soon? Let me reassure you that if you find yourself currently in the eye of the storm and there’s no end in sight or if you’re just coming onto shore but have been left tattered and worn you are not alone. The same is true for those who aren’t going through a storm right now, we may not feel the need to reach out because things are well for us at the moment, we don’t need a lifeline right now. But what if we looked at that like we needed to reach out more than ever because we ARE the lifeline, the floatation device is in OUR hands? I can say for myself right now that I am in a season of calm waters but it’s because my boat is not rocking that I can see others all around me who are really suffering. I know it’s in those moments of calm that I’m not left to myself to just soak it up and ignore those that are struggling, but instead I’m to weep with those who weep, pray for those who need prayer, encourage, love and speak life.

 

This message is for all of us, those going through the storm and those enjoying the calmer waters. I’d like to encourage you, in whatever season you find yourself, that there is purpose in every season, whether it be pruning and tough molding or blessings beyond blessings. I like to keep the perspective that we must be going through this specific thing not just for us, but because someday God is going to put me in the path of someone who is really going to need what I’ve learned through this very storm. It keeps us humble doesn’t it? It keeps us dialed in at all times, knowing that no matter what we are going through, though it’s happening TO US, it’s actually not always strictly just FOR US. If I’m finding myself in a season where my cup is running over with blessings, again, it’s not just for me to keep to myself, I’m to share it with others. I’m to pour it out just as it’s been poured upon me for it’s only when we empty ourselves that we can be filled again. Sure, it’s fun when we get to bless others, but not fun when it’s dying to self and allowing God to prune those dead branches. Am I right? But we’ve ALL been there. A season doesn’t come to stay, He is the God that gives and takes away and we can live expectantly in His truth knowing that whatever it is we are facing, He loves us enough to put others in our path to help us along. I pray that your current circumstance, whatever it may be, would give you a perspective of hope for how you can be used in the future because of it.  I pray the only chains that you’d be bound by are the chains that hold you ever so tightly to our anchor in the storm, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We do not suffer for nothing, there’s purpose and reason behind the pain that will shine like the morning sun as soon as this storm passes and it will pass. Don’t get caught up on the when or you might just miss out on the how.

Until then…the rest of us will be glad and willing to throw you a lifeline. Just grab hold and don’t let go because when the tide shifts my friend, it may just be us needing that lifeline.

Leah Parkin 

Jan 30, 2018