One of the greatest joys I remember as a child was running through the sprinklers. Whether it was one of the cool fancy sprinklers actually designed for children to play in, or just plain old yard sprinklers; I loved it.
As an adult, I don't have much time for running in sprinklers anymore, but the other night one of my favorite little guys was taking advantage of the watering time in his backyard (this is California people, it's limited) and asked me to run in the sprinklers with him.
As a child, I would have joined in right away without any second thought. But my 20 year old brain at first came up with a list of why I should tell sweet little Jake I didn't want to play. "It's getting cold out here", "I'm really tired, its been a long day", "If I get my clothes wet I'm going to have to drive home soaked." All these excuses ran through my head and then I looked up and saw his face. He was running through the water, laughing and having the time of his life and he wanted ME to play with him! I thought about how silly all of those excuses were, so I ran right in and joined him.
I see such a similarity between that instance and our lives. How easily do we let ourselves stay stuck in our situations and deny ourselves joy because we think we don't deserve it, or we're to busy, or we can't look past what is hurting us? How many times is God giving us an opportunity to laugh and enjoy the gifts He gives us daily instead of staying stuck in pits of sadness, of sickness, or grief? Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 says:
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 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. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God."
That is one of my favorite passages in the bible to visit in times that I can feel myself getting stuck in one moment. It's okay to cry, and have times of grieving. It's okay to admit that you are hurting and to acknowledge that, because those times are going to come. But you just can't stay there. If you let yourself stay stuck in one moment, or in a season that is full of sadness because you think you either can't or don't deserve to move on, you are hindering yourself.
You might be so busy thinking about what has gone that was bad that you miss the seasons that are coming that are full of good. God is the ultimate healer, and He is the ultimate provider. If there is anyone who can move you from the time to cry into the time to laugh, it is God. The thing is, you have to be willing to move. You have to push away all the excuses and reasons for why you can't and let yourself laugh and dance your way into a new season, just like I had to let myself take that first step to run in the sprinklers with Jake.
As soon as I did, I wasn't thinking about how cold I was, or that I would have to drive home in wet clothes. I was thinking about how much fun I was having and what a gift it was that God gave me that little moment of joy that brightened up what has been a difficult few weeks for me. So if you find yourself stuck in a season of pain, sadness, confusion or anything else today my prayer is that you won’t let yourself stay there. I hope that you’ll throw off every burden that seems to be weighing you down and keeping you from dancing your way into a new season. I pray that God will fill you with love, with hope, with peace, and with joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.” Romans 15:13