Friday, April 5, 2013

Winter Seasons

I have been, for quite some time, in a season of retreat. 
A season much like winter: dark, barren, quiet, dormant, still.

It is a season I have resisted, a season I have lamented, a season God ordained—of that, I am sureand therein lies the conflict.

 My wishes and God’s will seem to have collided. 

It is not the first time, certainly.
It just happens to be the most recent.

There is an inescapable conflict shadowing life’s eventualities that is difficult to navigate.  

On the tightrope that transects self-imposed pressures from God-ordained mandates, I fight for balance. 

Suspended perilously between the two, I struggle to maintain my equilibrium.

 It is a bewildering process. 

I ponder the reasons for my dissatisfaction with this current season of life.

I wonder why it matters to me at all.
Why this striving?
Why this discontent?
Why question being sidelined, anyway, when I know beyond doubting that God is the One Who sat me on the bench?

God has, recently, emphatically, communicated three truths to me:

One truth is that this season is not punitive. 
The other is that it is not without design. 
And the last is that it is time to get back in the game. 

There is no disputing that this “time-out” was imposed by Him.

 Even now, though, I wonder why.

I am learning that the best way to understand something,
is to acknowledge that you do not.

So, I whisper to Him my inability to make sense of it.
I sense this question in response: “Would knowing make it easier?”

 Maybe.  Maybe not.

The admonition comes: “So choose to focus on what you do know.”
Okay.  “Lord, reveal Your truth to me.”

 Things I know:

I know that God loves me and that He is for me.
I know that God’s directive to be still means that He is about to do something.
I know that God has a purpose for everything that He sends or permits into our lives. (This season is no exception.)

I know that no winter lasts forever.
I know that seasons change, but God does not.
I know that seasons change me.
I know that as surely as trees shed their leaves, and bulbs break forth in blooms, there are things being put to death,
and raised to life in me.

I know that the landscape changes as one season gives way to another.
I know that this season was allowed, not to break me, but to make me.
I know that seasons come and seasons go, but God
is present and abides.
I know that in the stillness, God’s whispers are easier to discern.
I know that even when I grope for Him in the dark, God is
always just within reach.

I know that the bleakest winter seasons yield unexpected wonders.

I know that it is not who I was, or who I am, that matters,
but who I am becoming in Christ.
I know that spring succeeds in extracting hope and purpose from the unforgiving, frigid soil of winter.

I know that my hairs are numbered, my tears bottled, my fears noted, my steps ordered, my prayers heard, my mistakes remedied, my restoration complete, my thirst quenched, my victory delivered, my weakness strengthened, my wounds healed, my winter ordained, my spring on its way.

I know.  I know.  I know. 
“Okay, Lord, I get it.”

He is showing me that the answer does not really matter after allnot nearly as much as the One to Whom it is posed.

God is the answer.
He is the answer.

That is His revelation to me, and it removes any desire I might have had for an explanation.
He is enough.

The whys no longer nag me.
The questions that once lingered on the periphery, suddenly fade away in the light of His presence.

He patiently teaches me.
Doubts cease.
Fears dissolve.

 Question marks are replaced with exclamation points!

 Forever and always—God.
The answer.
At work. Everywhere. 
In every season.

The declaration for every uncertainty.
The promise that undergirds me on even
the darkest of days.
The guarantee that significance graces all of it.