In the summer of 2016, my husband and I moved into a sweet, 1950s ranch-style home in the heart of Martinez. This quarter of an acre corner lot came with the whole package – wood paneling, a bathroom the size of a refrigerator (I’m not joking), and creaky wooden floors. The yard was the real deal though. We always joked that the former owner had a hay day at a plant sale and put random shrubs and vines in the yard to really keep you guessing each Spring. However, on one side of the chainlink fence, it was hard not to notice a knotted, weed-filled briar that overtook everything else around it. It was hideous. Thorn covered and wild, I thought frequently throughout the year about chopping it down the moment my schedule freed up. Then, after a storm in the April of 2017, a pale pink bud burst forth. What I thought was a landscaping burden, turned out to be the home of over 100 baby pink roses with dainty yellow centers. All it took was the next season to unveil the beauty it held.
*I can’t help but think of the scripture –
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
*Pastor McKinley recently taught on this scripture and I highly recommend a listen! (You can do so HERE at the 23:00 minute mark)
God knew in the moment of his creating this world that seasons would hold a place of depth and growth for both nature and his children. At that at the right time, something new would spring forth.
During a season of grief, I met at a friend’s home for lunch, where we sat facing her giant window that overlooked her woodland backyard. It was Winter. No green was in sight and we giggled over the amount of stress her large colony of squirrels had caused. She spoke of how the trees reminded her of the seasons that God placed in her life. That although they seemed so dead, there was always the hope of something next.
I’m sure you can relate when I say that in a hard season, the only thing I want to do is be on the other side of it. I don’t want to sit in the struggle. Just like sneaking down the hallway when my son’s finally sound asleep, I want to tip-toe right out of a hard time without anyone noticing. Not so fast. That’s just not what God wants for us! He wants the uncomfortable, teeth-gritting seasons to bring out the best in us. He wants the seasons that don’t feel like they belong to us, to be the very thing that shapes us into His image.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
You may be reading this and thinking, “Yay, another piece on waiting well in the storm.” You’d be right. It’s a hot topic, but that’s because we live in a fallen world. Pain and suffering are the results of that evening in the garden, but God doesn’t count any of it as loss. God uses every single instance of waiting in the thorns to produce the most beautiful bloom. He prepares our hearts, equips our hands, and never leaves our side.
I don’t know what season you’re in. Maybe you’re wading through the mud of a difficult storm or perhaps you are soaking up the warmth of a reconciled situation, no matter what it is, wait well. God is good in every season, even the one you’re in at this very moment. Don’t dig it up. Your faith will reveal something beautiful in time.
Pray: God, you are so creative. Thank you for using seasons in creation to teach us about the seasons of our faith. May we not miss out on the refining that comes from the trial. May we not miss out on the fruit that is coming because we’re so caught up in the fruit we don’t have. May we always remember that you’re always in control and always near. Make it all beautiful Lord, in your perfect timing. Amen
Listen: “Seasons” by Hillsong
Do: Go to a local garden center and pick out an outdoor plant. Plant it in a spot that you will remember to water and tend to it. Watch it grow and change with the seasons!