Facing Changing Seasons

posted by katiemoon September 16, 2017 0 comments

The winds are changing around here.

Ever get that feeling that life is about to turn a completely different direction from where it is today?

As I type this, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, watching the rain pour down outside, momentarily gazing out to the tree-filled ravine just past our yard where the leaves are turning bright yellows and oranges. The fire in the fireplace blazes, the sky is grey and the lights are dim. The season is shifting. Summer is passing away. In fact, I’m wearing my first sweater of the season today. The high for today is 49° where we live. Oh it’s just a cold front passing through. It’ll be back into the 60s and 70s this coming week. But nontheless, the signs are all there.

Change is coming.

I wonder if as I write this, some season of your life is changing too. Maybe something’s coming to an end. Maybe something is simply changing form. Maybe something wonderful and lovely is just over the horizon. Maybe something dismal, and seemingly dark looms ahead of you.

If so, can I whisper this sentiment to you… ? Rather, hear God whisper it to you my friends…

 “…Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Today I ask you this question: How much do you trust God?

See, when entering a new season, that is the question of questions we must ask ourselves. Change can be frightening. It can be unsettling. Even when it seems like good change is coming. There are just so many unknowns. So many new things and circumstances and people and experiences and challenges and jobs ahead. How do we know we’ll be able to tackle or handle them well? What if they hurt us? What if they’re hard? What if they’re less good than the things we know and are comfortable with today? What if we’re not strong enough? What if we’re not brave enough? What if we don’t know the answers? What if we’re not liked, helped, accepted, loved in the new ____________ (fill in the blank)?

How much do the coming changes you’re facing make you feel alone and lonely? I don’t know about you, but when I consider some of the unknowns coming around the corner in my life, something simply about the fact that there are unknowns make me feel alone and scared.

I think it’s because I’m not sure I’ve got what it’ll take for them…

In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t…

I feel like if I had the right person with me to face them, I’d be ok. They could be my backup. The one I fall back on, the one I trust to respond in the situations I don’t know what to do with.

Oh man, wouldn’t that be nice? If there was someone for each specific new circumstance that arises in the coming days? In fact, I’d like my pick of which friend could be with me in any given situation. If I face a situation where I need to think fast, I’d definitely want my husband there. But if I face a situation where I need to be kind and compassionate—at a level that’s not easy for me—I’d like my friend_____________ with me. Oh perhaps I’m going to be in a socially awkward situation, I want my funny friend, who always eases the mood… Can he or she be there right then, at the moment of need?

Then again, I’m dreaming. This is not reality. Reality is that the only person who I know for sure will be there in the future with me is… me. I feel… on my own…

Here’s the thing folks (and I’m speaking to myself too)… In truth, we’ve got what it takes for all the shifting seasons of our lives. Not because we can handle them all with flying colors, but because we have Jesus in us who can.

We’ve got HIm.

And what a friend He is.

The truth is, it’s a lie to believe we’re ever alone. If we believe this, if we think this way, we need to look inward. Not to self, but to Jesus.

“… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” Jesus said. (Matt. 28:20)

In John 1:9, which I began with today, God was speaking to Joshua, one of two Israelites who dared to believe God and His promises when they spied out the land God promised to them. In the new land they were preparing to enter, there were many dangers, challenges, and unknowns ahead of them. And it would take epic faith on the part of man, and powerful intervention on the part of God to overcome them all, allow the young Israelite nation to dwell in the land promised them, and to experience rest from all their enemies set on their destruction. And thank God this generation of Israelites was different than the past generation which practiced little faith. This new generation was poised with faith, and armed with God.

And so, their future was bright!

 “…Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

As new horizons stood before them, and with them all the unknowns, all the what-ifs… God stood there before them too, and encouraged them!

Be strong and courageous…

If you’re looking at a new season, can you hear God whisper this to you? Pause and hear this loving command, that is not without encouragement and provision.

Do not tremble or be dismayed…

As you look ahead to to unknowns, is it hard not to tremble and buckle under fear? Friend, there’s a reason we need not tremble or be dismayed by the future:

…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

If you’ve trusted Jesus to save you from the false accusations and decree for your destruction which was laid against you by the enemy who seeks your total destruction….

…doing away that writing of decree that was against us, that was contrary to us…  (Col. 2:14)

If you’ve trusted Jesus for such a rescue… AND that He’s not only rescued you from this destruction, but even totally contradicted the enemy’s agenda for you—which was to make you nothing and “not a people”, to wipe out the human race completely—by making you the “people of God”…

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people… (1 Pet. 2:9)

If you believe that Jesus has done this for you… Then, let me encourage you once more with these words:

…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

As the people of God, the Spirit of the living God is within us! And through His Spirit, Jesus is within us always. You and I have the living, risen Savior, Redeemer, Friend, Helper, Soul-Lover, Shepherd, Teacher, Servant, Master inside of us at all times. Always, ever with us.

Friends, He is the one who will always have what you don’t have. He’ll have the words you don’t have, the strength you don’t have, the mind you don’t have, the heart you don’t have, the love you don’t have, the grace you down’t have, the forgiveness you don’t have, the everything you don’t have in the coming days! He’s your very dearest friend, and your very closest…

But you must trust HIm. 

There’s no point to me bringing a friend to a function where I don’t know anyone, if I don’t trust my friend. What if she or he betrays me then and there? The truth is, we’d only bring a friend we trust.

And Jesus is totally, utterly trustworthy! The only thing that keeps us from leaning hard on Him above anyone else, the only thing that keeps us insecure and scared and weak-feeling, is our own lack of trust in Jesus.

We have an enemy still set on destroying us. He’s a liar, and the father of lies. He doesn’t want you to trust Jesus. He’ll lie to your heart telling you you have no one with you, you’re alone, and you’re weak. But he’s lying!

You have Jesus, friend! And He’s “…called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9). You and I can walk in His light, His protection, His guidance, His strength, His grace in all things, in all ways, in every day.

In the new.

In the unknown.

In the frightful.

And this is the glorious, wonderful, blessed joy of being a child of God!

You go nowhere alone.

Do not forget this.

Determine to remember this.

And determine to trust Him with all your heart.

He’ll never ever lead you astray, leave you alone, leave you without aid, love, power, wisdom.

Only—on your part—trust Him.

He is for you, and with you, and loves you! More deeply, intimately, and passionately than you know!

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” (John 11:9-10)

Have faith friend. Be strong and courageous. And anticipate and enjoy the light of HIs very presence on the new paths ahead.

Your future is bright!

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