This year God has been busy plucking up some old, dead roots and weeds in me—fear, perfectionism, people-pleasing, comfort, control—these are just a few things He’s been painfully plucking up. I know why He’s doing it. He wants to make room for a new area of ministry, but before He can launch the new, He must shape, mold, prod, and prune. So … I wait; hoping that God doesn’t find yet another dead or decaying thing in me that has to go. I know it’s necessary to uproot things in our lives that cause death and decay. Those weeds choke relationships, entangle our thought lives, and crowd our hearts, not allowing new buds to bloom and grow in season. But boy plucking is painful.
Yes, to everything there is a season, and there are seasons in life when God plucks up the old so He can give birth to something new in us. I know you understand what I’m talking about. Just as dead leaves fall from trees in autumn make room for new buds that blossom in the springtime, so dead things in our lives must go in order to make space for new life.
King Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, uses contrasts in chapter 3 to show the polar opposites of the seasons to which he refers, and the first of these contrasts is found in verse 2.
To everything there is a season…a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.
Timing is everything. God knows the time of our birth, the time of our death, and He appoints the times for planting and harvesting, by controlling the elements surrounding them.
God, alone, knows when He will birth a family into existence, just as He knows when the rains will come to water the field, making it ripe for harvest. He knows when we’ll mourn the loss of those we love or be forced to let go of that thing that we’re so passionate about. And God knows when He will plant the seeds of love and passion in our hearts for whatever “new thing” He chooses to birth in us.
We may not understand or know all the details, and we certainly aren’t privy to God’s timeframe, but the more we get to know Him through His Word and through time spent with Him, the more we learn of His ways and His purposes.
And we know that He promises, in His faithfulness, to never leave us on our own. He always makes a way.
I am the Lord, your Holy One,
the Creator of Israel, your King.”
Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters,
who brings forth chariot and horse,
army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Here’s what you and I need to ask ourselves in these seasons:
- How do I respond to the seasons of birthing and dying, of planting and plucking?
- Do I question God’s timing, His methods, or His process?
- When the seasons change, am I resistant or am I a willing recipient?
Our duty, as daughters of God, is to respond appropriately to every season, remembering that the changes in season come from God’s sovereign hand. The dying and plucking aren’t being done “to us,” they are being done “for us” and most importantly, for the glory of the Father.
I alluded to some plucking in my own life recently. God has been making space for a new area of ministry, and He has had to pry my hands off of some things that are precious to me. He has had to teach me grace in work relationships, friendships, and with myself. He has had to pluck away impatience because I want things to happen right now—today.
He has done all of this so He can launch a new ministry—Anchored Souls—a non-profit for moms who have children with cognitive and learning disabilities like I have. He has had to slow me down this year and dig out some insecurities, some prideful, people-pleasing, and some fear of failure issues.
This season hasn’t been fun and it’s not over, but grace and gratitude have made their home in my heart, and I am better for this season and am looking forward to this new area of ministry.
So, what season are you in today—birthing, dying, planting, plucking?
Are you grateful for this season? If not, what is causing your lack of gratitude?
Do you understand the purpose for this season? Sometimes knowing helps us with the growing.
In your season will you choose to:
- Respond to the season appropriately and not resist the Lord as He makes necessary adjustments?
- Realize it’s not about you, but rather it’s about glorifying the Father?
That, my friend, is how grace and gratitude are cultivated in every season.
As we remember God’s unchanging character—His sovereignty over our lives, His providence, and His transcendence (that He is above all things)—we can better embrace the seasons of life with an abundance of His grace and an attitude of gratitude.
Until next week friends …
Grace & gratitude,
To read more from Jacqueline, visit her blog, jacquelineheider.com
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