3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
I met with my therapist today. I’ve been needing to for a long time, but, well, life, or….. my stubborn will just didn’t want to. He’s the perfect Therapist. Always available. Always willing to listen. Always dispenses wisdom. Always gives me practical things to do to reemphasize His plan for my life.
I sipped on my ½ regular, ½ decaf cup of coffee this morning like I usually do. I talked to the Holy Spirit about what He already knows; I’m struggling in this season. I’ve been wrestling in it for a long time. 7 years long. I’ve pleaded. I’ve whined. I’ve complained. I’ve bartered. I’ve justified. I’ve cried. I’ve thrown adult sized hissy fits. Not one of those things has led me out of the season that I’ve wanted to be over for a long time. 7 years long. So, after I finished pouring out my complaint (Psalm 142:2) again, I read another chapter of Psalms and devotions from Spurgeon, Chambers and Tozer. Then I got up to begin the practical portion of my therapy; de-cluttering and re-organizing.
I LOVE to de-clutter and re-organize our home. It helps to de-clutter my mind and re-organize my emotions. It helps me to see all that we possess and be grateful. It helps me to see what is no longer needed and to grieve the loss. It helps me to see what needs to be thrown away, so that I can embrace something new!
Let me put this right on out there: I am severely impatient. When I see a new season approaching, I want it to happen yesterday. I don’t want to wait until tomorrow. Not so ironically, I married a man who approaches life much differently. He’ll ponder and wait and wait and wait. It makes me coo coo for Cocoa Puffs! NOW is the time! No need to dilly dally in today’s season- let’s just MOVE ON! Yet, God in His infinite sense of humor has not only given me the gift of a man who changes seasons slower than I do, but He’s also given me the gift of prophesy so that I can see seasons that are coming in a long, long, time. He’s trying to teach me to be still, to know Him, to realize He has made everything for its own time. He knows His work from beginning to end. He lives outside of time, and He’s planting eternity in my heart so that I will embrace each season from heaven’s perspective.
At the end of today’s session, I heard the Spirit whisper, “it’s time to quit searching, it’s time to throw some things away.” He’s already given me the answer to my endless questions. He’s already shown me the next season, but I must wait for His time to transition into it.
In the meantime, it’s also time to take out the trash which is full of junk that nobody needs, and deliver the pile of household goods that somebody does.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (AMP)
13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. 3 If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
The love passage. Believers and non-believers know these verses- and hurl them at one another frequently. It was read aloud at our wedding. I thought I loved my Prince Charming. I realize now that this Cinderella had NO idea what love was; how to receive-or give it. Then our kingdom expanded. We had 4 kids! Again, I had NO idea how to care for, much less love those tiny humans we brought home from the hospital. Then there’s others (not the others who lived on the island the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 crashed onto in the ABC Series “LOST”). I mean others who don’t live in my home- which includes you.
Allow me to confess:
I don’t love my husband.
I don’t love our kids.
I don’t love you.
Yes, I’ve accepted Jesus as my Savior.
Yes, I’ve been baptized.
Yes, I’m part of the body of Christ.
Yes, I’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit.
Yes, I serve others in the church.
Yes, I give to the poor.
Yes, I speak with the tongues of man and angels.
Yes, I have the gift of prophesy.
Yes, I understand some mysteries.
Yes, I have some knowledge.
Yes, I have some faith.
No, I don’t always endure with patience.
No, I am not always kind.
No, I am not always void of jealousy.
No, I don’t always crucify my rudeness (sarcasm anyone?!)
No, I am not always slow to anger.
No, I don’t always forgive and forget being wronged.
No, I don’t always look for the best in people (honestly, I rarely look for the best in people).
Allow me to confess, again:
I love Jesus.
He saved me.
He forgave me.
He delivered me…and is STILL delivering me- from fear. Fear of man. Fear of being hurt by man, again. Fear of being a victim of man, again. BUT, despite the experiences I’ve had in my past and recent present, there is still hope! Hope of being set free from fear. Hope of being set free from the One who is love. So, I will continue to abide in Him so that He can be completed and perfected in me. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, I will sit at His feet and be filled to overflowing with His perfect love which casts out fear. And when I rise to do the work He has called me to (which involves my husband, kids, and you) His Spirit will pour out, and I will love others… because He first loved me.
1 John 4:15-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 Whoever confesses and acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. 17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 19 We love, because [a]He first loved us.