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Surviving Seasons

Fall is in full swing and as the holidays rapidly approach, I am reminded of this fact of life: seasons change. For some, this is the most wonderful time of year. For others, it is anything but wonderful. Perhaps this is what the wise King Solomon had in mind when he wrote "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Which season BEST describes your life?

No matter how enjoyable or annoying, seasons change, bringing with them opportunities to grow, reflect, and share.

1. Grow in every season.

It is easier to grow when the circumstances of life are affirming, cooperative, and logical. Sometimes, you grow more in the most unlikely seasons. I spoke with an older minister who had suffered a major stroke. His brain capacity was severely diminished, limiting his speed of speech and recall. Amazingly, despite the physical challenges, he said that he was closer to Jesus after his stroke than he had ever been before. He chose to grow in a season of personal trial.

2. Reflect in every season.

We are all guilty of being so focused on tomorrow that we forget to review yesterday. As a result, we tend to repeat the same mistakes. Too many people reserve all of their reflective moments for the final days of their lives. What would happen if you spent time in reflection this season?

You may be reminded of unaccomplished goals. Do not be discouraged. Instead, consider why certain goals have yet to be completed and brainstorm possible avenues forward. You may find that you need to stop holding grudges. You have rehearsed a certain, sad song long enough. The band has stopped playing, the audience has left the auditorium, and there is no one paying attention but you. It’s time to sing a new song. I am not depreciating the hurts you have experienced or the disappointments you have endured. Rather, I am encouraging you toward a life-giving attitude, one by which you walk in the freedom of forgiveness and emotional liberty. You may be drawn into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. In personal moments of reflection, you realize that you have been shortchanging the Lord in the ares of your time, talents, and treasure. You have not prioritized devotion to Him and you are convicted that change is necessary. The good news is change is possible. Each day, you can grow in your relationship with God.

3. Share in every season.

Growth and reflection will yield life lessons that must be shared with others. If you have made poor choices which have yielded unavoidable consequences, assist others in avoiding the same potholes. If you have benefited from disciplined financial habits, help those who need financial health. If you have overcome besetting sins and suffocating strongholds, declare the goodness of God’s grace and be open to articulating the kind of protective boundaries that serve to keep you safe from needless temptation. Do not be stingy. Instead share.

Friend, I am not sure what season you are in, but I believe it is time to grow, reflect, and share. Today, make a commitment to be a better version of yourself after this season than you are right now.

~Pastor Martin

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