A Time for Everything

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

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 scheme of life, we are all run by some sort of clock whether it is internal or external. If we live where there are distinctive seasons our activities are sometimes centered around those transitions. But even if there aren’t definite weather seasons where we are, there are seasons in life, jobs, relationships, growth, faith — you name it!

When our kids were little, we never wished they would move through stages quickly — we knew that each child had to move at their own pace and we had to let them figure it out and trust their own stride. We each have our own unique tempo. Sometimes we are attracted to those who have a similar beat and other times, knowing we need a change in pace, we find ourselves connecting with others who have a very different pulse. Sometimes I have to be very intentional about slowing down my pace because once I get going I struggle with turning my brain off to relax a bit. I am thankful for changes in pace, even though they take some getting used to. Measuring our progress by speed is useful in some ways but not in all. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

I love that God has created us each in a unique way and with a unique pace. I appreciate those around me who share my rhythm as well as those who challenge my stride.

Has your regular rhythm been challenged recently? Are you frustrated with how slowly things may seem to be moving in certain areas of your life? If you allow it, God may use your new pace might bring along a new perspective and a new peace about your circumstance.

On the way,

Liz

PrayerPoints ~ Thursday, March 17th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 88

“O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.” Psalm 88:1-2

Wow. If you read through Psalm 88 you will see it is full of  a lot of loss. It is good to read through it and know that I am not the only one who has felt devastation.

Even though the circumstances are not identical, we each travel through seasons of loss and discouragement. If you are in a good place now, I am sure you can recall the emotions and grief of a difficult time. If you know someone going through a time of loss, please pray for them. Let them know you are praying for them. And, if you can, take time to walk alongside them.

I know my faith has grown in times of struggle but those times always seems to come with a “breaking point” where things are so difficult that I am not sure I can handle one more problem. Standing “in the gap” with someone (through prayer and encouragement and reminders of God’s provision) can be hard and yet so beneficial to the person struggling.

May you be a blessing today to someone in need!

Seasons

I do love the routine of the seasons although there are some seasons I like better than others. I like the general predictability of the seasons within a year but even the “unseasonal” events make life interesting.

I have always enjoyed the seasons of parenting and rarely wished the days away. I enjoyed each moment as it came. And if I was in an ugly moment, I knew that it would change shortly. When it was a sweet moment, I savored it knowing it would also move quickly to the next.

I also enjoy the seasons of the Church Year. Today, Palm Sunday, marks the start of Holy Week. It is a very busy week at our church for the entire staff. It probably is at yours as well. There are many people putting in many hours of preparation. Pray for your pastors, musicians, janitorial staff, secretaries, bulletin designers, printers and collators. Pray for the many who will attend church only because it is expected in their family. Pray for God’s Word to be preached effectively and for many ears to hear the Gospel, pure and true.

And as you travel through this Holy Week, consider the walk Jesus took for you. Pray for a greater integration of His gifts of love, mercy, and forgiveness into your life. As His gifts pour out into your life let them flow unrestricted to those around you!

Seasons

I have been blessed to spend most of my life in areas where there are four distinct seasons. Categorizing life into seasons is a helpful way for me to ponder them. There are seasons in marriage and parenting. There are seasons of spiritual growth and health. There are seasons of work, employment, education, and finances. I am sure there are more!

Have you ever dreaded a season only to find you experienced areas of amazing growth as a result of it? Since I am not a big fan of winter, I would characterize a difficult season as a winter season. Winter has less sunshine, it’s cold, it’s messy with snow and ice, and it can be dangerous. There is definitely beauty in winter though, and I think that is an important point: Each season has its own beauty!

What is your favorite season? Do you look forward to the change in seasons?

I am thankful for the seasons in my life and the variety each season provides. I am not typically excited when I sense I am headed into a difficult season but as God works in and through my challenges He can transform a tough season into one of growth, if I allow it!

Longing for Spring?

I am so ready…are you?

The time change helps my attitude. The sun and warmer temperatures help my attitude too. I love it when the flowers start to bloom and the trees start budding. The birds sing their sweet songs! It’s such a beautiful time of year! And I seem to be motivated more in Spring than any other time of year.

Spring is the most appreciated after a cold and messy winter.

When life is going along swimmingly, I tend to take a few things for granted. But after I make it through a challenging season, I am ready for respite and refreshment and reconnecting and renewal.

My walk with God has gone through many seasons. Has yours?

In the coming days I will share some thoughts on seasons and life-cycles. In the meantime, look for signs of Spring outside and look forward to the beauty that fresh growth brings!

Is it Spring yet?

We have had a bit of a taste of beautiful weather in southern Indiana the last couple of days and it is a welcome reprieve to our winter, in my opinion. There are some seasons that last a bit too long for me. Maybe it is the cold, maybe it is the requirement of bundling up, maybe it is the shorter days or lack of sunshine, maybe I am just getting old but after about eight weeks of winter, I am done.

I have noticed my faith seems to have seasons, as well. Does yours? Sometimes it is obvious the Holy Spirit is growing in me a deeper understanding and trust of God.  Other times I feel as though I am resting in His grace and basking in His love. And still other times are situations of harvest.

And then those times when it appears not much is happening.

It could be I am distracted, depressed, disturbed, or disconnected from God and the body of believers. It could be that I am smack in the middle of a season of rebelliousness and unconfessed sin.

Sin always drives a wedge between us and God. Sin causes growth to stop and eventually we find we are a branch that dries up, a faith that almost withers away.

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1: 1-3

Lord, help me to be connected to you. When my faith seems to be withering, keep me accountable as well as encouraged to move forward by putting my trust in You!

The end of the season