Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Unchanging Seasons

We’ve all been there … those times when the season we are in doesn’t seem to be changing. Those times when we question how long we can operate in “survival mode.” Times that bring the challenge: “If this doesn’t change, am I okay with that?” 

Have you ever found yourself in unexpected survival mode? Thinking it is just a season, survival mode seems doable for that time. When it becomes apparent that the season is going to be longer than expected, we realize we aren’t going to be able to function in survival mode long-term. In these times I’ve found myself asking, How do I live like God has called me to live while navigating a season that has become a way of life? More importantly, how do I proclaim Him as Lord through this?

As I began to think through this in a practical sense of what this looks like at work, I also realized how quickly I fall back on, and stay in, “survival mode” in my spiritual walk as well.

In those seasons when I wonder how long it will last and how will I ever adjust or survive, I want each moment to be led by the statement, “I can trust God with this.” I can also challenge myself with Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven,” as Solomon addressed different times of life the Lord may take us through.

I love David’s honesty in Psalm 13. When you read it, it seems David is feeling pretty “over” the season of life he is in. But look how the chapter ends: David recognizes how steady and sure Christ’s love and faithfulness are, and how good God has been to him! 

Psalm 13
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

What changed in Psalm 13? In verses 1–2 we find David crying out to the Lord in desperation, asking almost complaining of his circumstances. In verses 3–4 David is asking—pleading—with the Lord for deliverance. The last two verses show David’s complete shift of perspective as David declares his trust in the “hessed”—the covenant faithfulness (CSB)—of our Lord. It wasn’t David’s circumstance that changed, it was his perspective, his response to the Lord. And that is what anchors our hearts when seasons don’t change.

When our perspectives and purposes are fixed on Christ and His glory, hard things will still come, yes, but the covenant faithfulness of the Lord will sustain us. Seasons don’t always change like we think they should, but we can trust God in the new normal, knowing that He does not change. He has always been and always will be faithful.

“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 117:2)

Heather Leman

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