Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Here in South West Ohio fall has come in full force. Despite the lack of rain over the past few months we have been blessed with a wide range of fall colors. One thing I love about this part of the country is we have the privilege of experiencing all four season of the year. Each season has something different to offer and experience. The cold nippy wind of winter along with a fresh blanket of snow provides a clean pure earth. The warm, pleasant breeze of spring, with all the flowers, the smell of fresh cut grass, reminds of rebirth. The hot long days of summer, with the wind whistling through the trees, makes you long to be outdoors spending time with friends and family. The changing of the air, the bright array of fall colors, brings a warmth, yet a chill, returning families to the indoors, brings with it a sense of comfort and strength.
Over the past few weeks I have felt in my own life that I have been going through a change in season. At times I feel I am walking hand in hand with God. I feel like I have God in my thoughts continually. I am in his word. I am praising him through song. I am somewhere in my head sharing my thoughts, my likes, my dislikes, my excitements and my heartaches. I am using tools to study his word in ways I have never done before. I am striving for his church in ways that cannot be stopped. But then, something outside my control enters in, and that season begins to change. Then I go through a time where I feel distant from God. I am not in his word, unless teaching or preaching. I am not picking up commentaries/study aides, unless in preparation for a lesson. I am not spending time in prayer, unless leading one for a class or group. I am not spending time in worship, unless on Sunday mornings.
Then out of the blue my heart breaks. It is much like the heart break I have felt when breaking up with a girlfriend. You know the deep pit in your stomach, the knot that ties up deep inside, the feeling of being all alone, the feeling of hurt that just changes your entire demeanor and attitude. Your outlook on life quickly becomes different. This feeling exist because in a way you are breaking up with God. You are feeling lonely, your attitude is affected, and you are hurting because you are separated from the one you care about so much. But we have an amazing promise.
As Joshua was preparing to take over the leadership role of Moses, God gave him this promise. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” As a follower of Christ, I have that promise too. The writer of Hebrews reminds his audience of that in 13:5. In my seasons of separation from God, he has never left nor has he stopped leading. It is during these seasons where his leadership picks up. It is during these seasons that he uses his spirit to gently nudge me, to remind me of the relationship we have. It is during these seasons that he breaks my heart for him.
I thank God for constantly being there. I thank God that he continues to nudge me, even when I do a horrible job of living for him. I thank God that he still uses me for his service.
So what do your season of life look like? How does God nudge you to do something you should be but are neglecting to do? How does God use his spirit to break your heart?
(Above image was taken from the website for Bob Atkins Photography)