“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1
After winter, must come spring. Change comes eventually” ~Lauryn Hill.
For the last 12 years or so I have been in a winter season. Despite being born during a major blizzard, I do not readily embrace it.
Even though I know that winter is a time for hibernating, renewing, strengthening, and preparing, it can be difficult to see better days ahead. Although David was anointed king at the tender age of 16, he spent the 14 years following his anointing running from Saul. It was during this time that the Psalms were birthed. Reading David’s laments, we know how unbearable winter seasons can be. “Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice,” he says in Psalm 55:17. But we also know that trouble doesn’t last.”He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:2).
Take heart. The hoary head of snow soon melts. The grass morphs from brown to green. The birds return from the south. The sun smiles again. We have visible signs of hope that a change is on the horizon.
But how do we endure in the meanwhile when the air is still polar, the nights long, and the landscape of our lives are seemingly barren? I think the answer that has evaded me my entire life is a simple one. We are to HOPE. This revelation has only come to me in the past year. Prior to this, I spent the time waiting being afraid, disillusioned, angry, and bitter. I didn’t have enough faith to BELIEVE God would get me through. I was fearful that He wouldn’t do for me what He has done for countless others. I concentrated more on the problem instead of focusing on He who is greater than any problem known to man. He’s seen it all. Nothing that we go through is a surprise to Him. He only wants to see how we handle that challenges that bombard our lives. Will we ask for His new morning mercies daily? Will we lean not to our own understanding? Will we be still? Will we wait on Him? Or will we succumb to the desire to do it our way? Will we resist the thorn that adorns the beautiful rose? Will we decline the growth that is sure to come if we just hold on?
I now know that this winter is not in vein. He is not punishing or refusing to help me. He is growing me for something greater later. God is using it to build my character. When He is ready, deliverance will come.
Patience is not my best quality and I constantly wonder when my relief come. Some days I feel like the speaker in the Kanye West song Stronger “I need you to hurry up now/Cause I can’t wait much longer/I know I got to be right now/Cause I can’t get much wronger./” I want to plead my case for deliverance to the Highest Judge in life’s earthly court. I need Him to know that I am not righteous like Job, steadfast as David, dedicated like Ruth, or obedient like Noah. Some days I beg or bargain for relief. I am not as strong as You think, I want to scream.
So what’s a girl to do? Here are a few things that keep me going:
1. Seeking God: I do this by reading the Bible, listening to sermons while I am doing chores, attending church, reading Christian books and devotionals, and listening to praise music.
2. Connecting With Positive People: I have cut out many negative people out of my life. I interact with those who will not judge and will keep me uplifted. Though they may admonish me, I know it out of agape love.
3. Focusing On The Good: The Bible says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
4. Encouraging Others: I truly love encouraging others. It makes me realize that I am not the only one with problems. And it makes me feel good to be good to others as God has called us to do.
5. Recalling Past Victories: I’ve survived many things and I can only attribute it to the grace of God. It certainly wasn’t by my hand or strength. If He’s done it once, He’ll do it again as long as I continue to fight and faint not.
I would love to hear how you wait in the comment section below.