To Everything, There is a Season
Updated: Feb 4
To everything, there is a season. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2a
Those of you that have been journeying with me for a while know that I love to use God's creation as a learning tool for life. There is so much to glean from nature; the majestic work of God's Hand. Another thing you may know about me if you've been with me for a while is that I do not have a green thumb but I've learned a lot through my inability to keep my plants alive so I decided to try my hand at growing plants; again.
Over the summer months, I had a couple of beautiful outside plants and they really thrived in the sunlight and the climate of the summer. I’d been told that these particular plants if brought inside during the winter months could be kept alive. This would be a major task for me to take on but I was up for it. I loved these plants. They brought so much life and beauty and to bring that life and beauty inside would be great. Now to be able to keep them alive until next summer would be a challenge and something just a bit short of a "miracle" for me.
So, when the weather began to change and the brisk air of fall began to creep in I brought the plants inside the house. One of the plants is doing really well; growing tall, vibrant green, and flourishing. On the other hand, the other, not so good. I mean, I’ve tried everything. Giving it less water. Giving it a little extra water. Moving it around and adjusting the way the sun hits it through the window. Adding extra nutrients to the soil. No matter what I did this plant by all appearances looked as if it would not make it to summer.
I began to give up on this plant until my husband suggested that maybe I should try pruning it. It may sound like a no-brainer to those who are familiar with taking care of plants but for me, not so much. But I did have that, “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment.
The next day I got my shears and began to cut off the dead leaves, and there were A LOT of them. As I continued to cut, I began to get just a little discouraged by the number of dead leaves I had to prune but to my surprise, after I began to get cut away all the dead, dry, lifeless leaves I saw a couple of vibrant, fresh and beautiful green leaves springing up out of the dirt! I couldn’t believe my eyes. All this sturdy, gorgeous greenery springing up and unfolding but I couldn’t see it because of the dry, brittle, and lifeless leaves blocking my view.
My plant with fresh, vibrant leaves unfolding and springing up. You see it!
After discovering the new leaves my first thought was isn’t this how life gets when we’re in the hard places? Whereby all appearance’s things don’t look too good? When we may have feelings of, "How am going to make it through this one?" Your view is blocked and you can't see the new thing that God is doing behind the trial, the tests, the wilderness season.
In talking to a few people it seems that so many are going through one hard thing after another. It just seems like it's just one of those seasons. For those of us who serve the True and Living God, we can take comfort in knowing that whatever we go through, whenever we go through it, good or bad is making us stronger and working for our good. I know through experience that it does not feel good when you're in it or even look good for that matter but in Christ, all things are working together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose, and His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son and in order to be conformed to the image of Jesus we have to go through some things. We must be pruned and tests and trials are the shears that God allows and uses to help us grow, develop character, persevere, and bear the fruit and image of Jesus Christ.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2
Pruning is a process of cleansing and cutting away of the things that prohibit our spiritual growth and conforming into the likeness of Christ, and yes, it is uncomfortable and painful but know that God is perfecting you in holiness and you will come out stronger, bolder, courageous and looking more like His Son. Jesus is victorious and because of Him, so are you!
Maybe you are in a dry, discouraged, and brittle place, and by all appearances, it seems like you are losing the battle. You can’t see behind what's what looks like a hopeless situation. I encourage you today to just wait! Wait on the Lord! He is working whatever it is out for your good and though it doesn't feel like it, you are producing more fruit. You are bringing forth character, perseverance, strength, and hope.
Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
I exhort you today to keep the faith! Cling to the promises of God. Stay close to God in prayer. Take time to behold Him. I find especially in the hard places that it's extremely helpful and comforting to hear what HE has to say.
Wait on Him with earnest expectation! Know that the blessings are behind the test! Behind the dead things in your life! You may not see it! You may not feel it! But God is working on your behalf now and for eternity! God is doing a new thing! His plan for your life is unfolding! Just wait on the Lord! It shall spring up!
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now shall it spring forth; Shall you not know it? Isaiah 43:18-19
To everything, there is a season. A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted. A time to gain. A time to lose. A time to weep a time to laugh. No matter the season we can be confident of one thing; all seasons are in the Hand of God. Seasons change but God remains the same.
Just as my plant got shaken up due to the change of seasons we have those times when we are shaken by the change of seasons in our lives. We have those moments in time where things are going well, everything is sunshine and blue skies; experiencing a season of fruitfulness then before you know it the trials, testings, the cold, bleak and blustery days of winter have crept in. But know this; just as my plant bounced back, vital, green, rooted, and grounded, God in His kindness after you have suffered a little while, will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.
1 Peter 5:10
Rooted. Grounded. Restored. Strengthened. It's going to make it to summer y'all!
Hang in there and trust God in this season. In all seasons. Believe me, I know it's hard in the stretching but always keep in mind that God is working behind the muck and the mire in wondrous ways that we cannot even comprehend.
Know that the cutting away of the impurities, and tilling the soil of our hearts is establishing godly character in us and making way for the new thing! Do you not see it? Do you not know it? You WILL make it! Summer is coming!
For further reading Romans 8:28-30
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3
Praying for you!
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