Quick & Painless
We are blessed to live in a place with four beautifully distinct seasons of weather, which makes it easier to understand why the Lord used the illustration of seasons so often in His Word. Look at this familiar passage of scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” Though there are things that I may like more about one season or the next, there’s truly something special about each one.
Recently, I was headed home, passing over Chautauqua Lake on sunny Spring day as the subtle ripples of the water were glistening and life after the frozen tundra was being rejuvenated. It was truly beautiful. I couldn’t help but to consider how quickly the time had passed by and how painless the winter had felt this year. Let’s face it, if you’re not a fan of snow, there’s a certain dread that starts to come as fall begins to approach its end. I’ve failed and fallen prey to this dread many times in the past, but this year, I decided not to focus on that and it seems to have made a world of difference.
Often times, people, and even Christians, though we ought to know better, will get discouraged by the season they’re in. As you continue to read the scriptures in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, you’ll see the Lord explains that there are seasons for different aspects of life. There’s a time to plant, and a time to harvest what was planted. We can’t be discouraged waiting for the harvest, wondering, “why not yet, Lord?” He promised us a season of waiting. He promised us there would be seasons of mourning and seasons of dancing. See, a Christian walk isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, cotton candy, lemon drops and sunshine. There are different seasons we will both embrace and endure.
Look at Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Our ultimate ending is that of great victory, eternal victory, but on earth we have been promised trial and testing with fire, as we have a real enemy. The trial comes, because Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy us, but Jesus came and gave us life abundantly. (John 10:10) If our focus is right, those seasons of trial will work for our good. If our focus is right, we will sail through them into glistening water, rejuvenated by the victory Jesus wrought for us. It will seem quick and painless.
How do we keep our focus right? Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” We guard our hearts from becoming weary. We do this through the Word of God. One of the best examples of this is in the book of Matthew chapter 14, when Peter walked to Jesus on the water. Jesus had sent His disciples to cross over the sea, but a terrible storm came against their boat. The scripture says the boat was being tossed by the waves! (Matthew 14:24) This wasn’t a little afternoon rain. This was major. We’ve all had moments of rain, and we’ve all had moments where just a little rain would have been nice, if you know what I mean. So Jesus called to Peter to come to Him; in moments of trial, the Lord wants us to come to Him. Peter began walking on water towards Jesus, without sinking, though it was in the midst of a terrible storm, though everything in the natural told him he couldn’t do it. But, when he lost focus on Jesus, he began to sink. So much can be learned through this account. When we are in a season where it looks like we might sink, we focus on Jesus. When we are in a season where all signs point to failure, we focus on Jesus. When our focus is right, we’ll see the victory on the other side.
I love this scripture, 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” Though this is written to a minister, this applies to us all. We need to be ready to answer every situation with the Word of God. We need to keep the Word of God on our lips and in our hearts throughout every season of life. It is in this truth that we find our hope, our peace, and our victory.