For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
Wow! It has been over a month since I have been able to sit down to compose a post and this hiatus is because I have been going though a season in my life. This season has been one that has brought with it many life lessons, particularly, learning to trust in God when things are not going the way I plan. Yesterday, I picked up my bible to read after a few weeks of not doing so and my readings led me to this nugget of inspiration from Jeremiah 29.
For context: The Israelites were in captivity and they were hoping for God’s deliverance. In fact, many false prophets had assured them that God’s deliverance was around the corner and that their exile would last for only a maximum of two years. Because of this false hope, the Israelites lived in this state of flux, of uncertainty; and in many ways, they were stuck and could not move forward. But God sent his prophet with this message:
“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”Jeremiah 29: 5-7 NIV
God was telling them to get comfortable in the season He was taking them through. This sounds antithetical to everything I have come to believe when going through things in my life that I deem unpleasant. In fact, many Christian teachings and admonishing would urge me to pray and fast myself out of that situation. However, as I read through this scripture, I felt God’s encouragement to get comfortable in the seasons of my life. More often than not, I am in a hurry to move on to the next phase, to the next chapter of my life that I do not stop to take in the lessons and the blessings of each season of my life. Just like the Israelites, I sometimes refuse to accept the “realities” of what my situations are and rather look to future state as God’s promise for me. While this is not bad, there are many things that I miss out on in God’s season of my life: I miss out on planting and harvesting and on building during those seasons because I am waiting for better things to come. God told the Israelites to get comfortable, settle down, and build and in essence take advantage of everything the season of exile had to offer while they waited for His appointed time of deliverance. His promise to them was that at the end of the season, their deliverance would come but it was important that they did not waste the lessons and blessings of the season while waiting.
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”Jeremiah 29: 10-11 NIV
You see many of us quote the latter part of that scripture about God’s plans to give us a future and a hope with abandon but if you read this scripture in context, you will see it was part of an assurance to the Israelites during their season of exile. God was encouraging them to use the season of exile wisely because the plans that He had for them was to prosper them in the season of captivity and exile and bring them to the future state of deliverance they imagined better off than they currently were.
What season of life are you currently in? What are you waiting on God to do for you? Are you in between jobs? Waiting for your healing? Expecting a breakthrough in a particular area of your life? Grieving a loss? Disappointed at the outcomes of your life’s circumstances? Or are you celebrating great wins and successes in your life? Whatever, your season, there is a lesson and a blessing. And while I pray that the difficult seasons do not last long and that light breaks forth like the dawn over every gloomy circumstance, my greatest prayer is that you do not miss the opportunities God has in store for you during whatever season of your life. And particularly for those going through untoward circumstances, I pray that you do not miss out on what God is doing because you are only looking for respite and if it is God’s plan to prosper you in that particular season, may He give you the grace to get comfortable in that season. His plan for your life does not bring you harm and disaster but are for your well- being to bring you to the future you hope for.
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for…[for it is the LORD who changes the times and seasons]Jeremiah 29: 11GNB/ Daniel 2:21 NIV