Our life is made up of changing seasons. Seasons are used by God to make us grow. We have all heard that we need changing seasons for plants for grow. We have fall and winter for plants to go dormant and rest and we have spring and summer for them to flourish and grow. We are the same. Read Ecclesiastes 3:2-8
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 (NIV)
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
In order to have a peaceful life in each season, good or bad, we must understand a few things. The first thing to know is that we have no control over the seasons in our life and we never know when they will change. Today we may be living the good life yet tomorrow we will lose our job. This happened to me last fall. I missed a request for a proposal for my largest client and was eliminated as a vendor. This was 90% of my income.
Now when this first happened I felt like a truck had hit me. What was I going to do for a paycheck? How would I pay my bills? After the initial shock hit, I calmed myself and turned to prayer. I asked God to show me why this had happened and where He was leading me. I comforted myself knowing God was in control and changing my direction. Yes I was completely panicked at first but then I knew my faith was in God and His plan.
Another important point to remembered is the changes are often confusing. Why did I miss the bid opportunity for my client? Where would my new clients come from to cover my financial loss? I again focused myself to be patient and not try to understand what was happening. I knew down the road God would show me why this had happened and it would become clear to me. I do now see that God was freeing up my time to focus on Grateful Gratitude and obtaining a nonprofit status. He wanted me to serve others instead of myself.
Recognizing that God has a purpose for each season is critical. If you wallow in a pity party you will totally miss what God is teaching you. Every season offers growth and lessons. The purpose for my loss of income was to get me to focus more on serving than receiving money. I am so confident of this lesson because since this happened, God has always provided for me when I needed to pay a bill. Granted I may have only had $10 left over in the Grateful Gratitude account but He still provided and left more than I actually needed. He wants me to know to not chase money and serve Him as my only master as I had seemed to have gotten lost.
As Ecclesiastes 2 states above, seasons have good and bad times. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to reap, a time to sow. A time to tear, a time to mend. God blesses seasons with positives and a negatives. It’s a sort of balance. Just like life offers us love then a breakup, wealth and poverty as well as health and sickness. As I lost my wealth I found joy in not overspending and becoming less materialistic. Always look for the two opposites in life because one may come in a different season. Work in your current season to reap for the future seasons.
It is so important too that you make the most out of each season I learned from Pastor Rick Warren in “The Purpose Driven Life”. First examine the thought of what can I learn from this season? I definitely learned to be more humble without all my income and living on 10% of what I was used to. It cause me to recognize the frivolous things I didn’t need like morning drive thru coffees, a closet full of clothes and buying extra lives in Candy Crush Mania. Silly things that didn’t benefit me spiritually in any way.
Another thing he emphasized was to figure out what I could enjoy while in this season. It is shown in the Bible that we have been blessed by God with this life and we should be appreciative for all we go through.
Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.
It’s key to figure out how to help others during this season. When I was no longer helping my clients all day long since I lost the account, I looked for others needing help. I would specifically look for others suffering that would benefit from me giving them a gratitude heart. I use hand carved soapstone hearts from Kenya bought through fair trade to anchor other’s to God’s love by practicing gratitude. I found a local charity that helped families that had a child with solid tumor cancer that were going through weekly hospital visits for treatment. I reached out to the charity to offer a gratitude heart to each family to anchor them to God’s love while going through this process. My daughter and I held a fundraiser to raise funds for 77 families to receive a gratitude heart. Focusing on these families in a time of my loss helped me appreciate what I did have and touched my heart realizing that others have seasons too. It is paramount you act fast and not think about how to help others, just help.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
No matter your season remember God planned that season designed just for you. Do good and enjoy each season because something fruitful will come from it.
All my love and gratitude,