Every time I get into the car, I do the same song and dance. Not literally of course, although there have been a few good tunes I have had on repeat lately. But for the past few months… ok a lot of months… I have looked at my clock and reminded myself to subtract an hour as I never adjusted it from the Fall Back schedule.
I know there's a way to do it but that little box has three buttons and I just can't figure out how to adjust the time, so I left it right where it was and have been reminding myself ever since knowing that Spring Forward would come soon enough and make figuring it out obsolete as I would just have to change it again.
It is just as easy in my book to train myself to remember until the time comes back around.
Now I am not going to make the parallel from my stubbornness in waiting it out to somehow say this is how we should live our lives, refusing to change with the times, because there is a whole message in that about embracing each season no matter how difficult to navigate. I thought about writing that blog. Especially with our recent drastically changing seasons, but another thought came to mind that I think is equally important for us to hear. A truth that has stood the test of time. A truth that has been ever present with us not just this last year but these past ten years and beyond.
Holding on during change.
Reminding ourselves of the expectant hope we have in Christ to bring us back out of the valleys we have been wandering in. Because no one season is forever. Everything changes. Maybe not tomorrow, or next month, or next year. But if you hold on long enough, you will see your situation turn back around.
The naked trees will sprout again. The dry grass will turn green again. The lakes will be full again.
The sadness will turn to joy again. The mourning will turn to dancing again. The suffering will turn to prospering again.
This is all a part of the cycle of life. Ups and downs. Mountains and valleys. Good times and bad times. We need and experience both.
This idea has been running through my mind a lot lately as I had the opportunity to share with our church about my story a few weekends ago. It is a journey I am thankful for, both the ups and the downs, because I stuck around long enough (past the depression and serious battle with suicide) to see God turn it all around.
That's all it took: Jesus and time.
Some would say that "time heals all wounds" but I disagree. Time can exasperate even the smallest of injuries or offenses, but if you allow God to work through you - holding on to Him with every ounce of strength you have left - then yes, you will be healed… in time.
So for the student overwhelmed with school… summer is coming.
And for the friend feeling lonely and betrayed... restoration or new friendships will come.
And for the mom up to her eyeballs in diapers… they do go to the bathroom on their own eventually.
And for the dad struggling to provide each month… children have excelled with much less.
And for the family living in a one bedroom classroom above the church… God will provide a home again.
(Ok maybe that last one was just for us. But it is true none-the-less. Because I am not perfect and was caught up in my own little pity party every now and again the past six months but despite my poor attitudes and feelings of hopelessness, God was still faithful. Just like He has been all along.)
Whatever season you are in do not lose hope.
Keep looking at the clock reminding yourself that God will see you through even when it is reflecting the wrong time. He will redeem your valley. He will see you to the other side. Falling back eventually changes to springing forward.
Don't be a grumbling Israelite so set on how good you had it back in Egypt (hello, they were SLAVES in Egypt) but trust God with a hopeful expectation that there is a Promised Land that is in fact waiting just for you. [Momentary pause to also remember that even mountain top experiences and Promised Lands and new homes also include obstacles and battles of their own. No season is perfect.]
He is still the God that goes before us, still the Redeemer of our lives, still the Overcomer that empowers us to fight.
If you are reading this and find yourself in hard times, say this out loud (yes, I am serious, out loud): THIS IS JUST A SEASON AND IT WILL CHANGE.
Because that is the nature of seasons.
And you better believe I will be ready for tomorrow when I finally look at that clock and don't have to remind myself to do anything for the next few months. I will smile a moment and thank God for the times in life I don't have to try and remember His goodness because I am freely walking in it. I will smile at the irony that I can remember to not remember. And I will smile about the few months I have before the seasons change again, causing me to have to remember all over again because I can use that same hope and joy to see me through.
Keep planting the good seed. Keep watering the dry ground. Don't give up. Even when things look grim.
If Judas had waited just one week he would have seen the greatest turnaround this world had ever known. All he needed was Jesus and time.
Don't lose hope. Just wait for it.
Romans 8:24-28 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.
James 5:7-8 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.