Over the last couple of years the theme of ‘seasons’ has been one I (Debbie) keep coming back to in my thinking. The rhythm of life is dictated by the idea of seasons, both in the calendar sense and in terms of phases of life and activity that make up each day, week and month. The Bible is full of examples of seasons. For example, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for a season, before they sinned and left. Joseph was told he would encounter seasons of plenty and seasons of famine. Many of the Jewish traditions were built around calendar seasons of festivals, harvest and so on. The book of Ecclesiastes has familiar verses on this idea where it says;
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Several years ago, in the midst of illness God gave me the promise from Psalm 18 (also 2 Samuel 22:20 and the basis of what I wrote in A Change of Perspective) that He would bring me to a spacious place, that He would rescue me;
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:16-19
Many times as I’ve walked through dark times and the challenges of illness have I asked, even pleaded for Him to fulfil His promise there and then. There have been times where the darkness has been unbearable, and my human logic has not been able to understand why God is leading me through these times, and why He is withholding His fulfilment of this promise. In these moments the answer He kept giving was “this is not the season yet, the season has still to come”. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 was such a helpful passage for me as I have waited for God to bring the season of healing, where I would know that I am in the spacious place He has promised to bring me to. At times I’ve been able to wait patiently, at other times not so patiently, especially when I try and apply human logic and understanding to the situations I have found myself in. Yet God is a God of rhythm, of perfect timing, of seasons. He has brought me to a point where I can believe that He hasn’t been withholding His promise from me but rather waiting for the right time.
Over these past 2 years God has given me several examples where I’ve needed to wait for His timing and His rhythm to be right rather than push against this at my pace which is at odds with His rhythm and grinds against it. For example, 2 years ago a treatment option was presented to me to consider. It promised a quick and easy fix to my depression with a high chance of success. From a worldly point of view you would be a fool to turn it down. Yet for me it didn’t feel like the right option. It felt as if it was going against Gods rhythm for me, and so I said no. However, two years later I have just completed a course of this treatment and the results are as good as they promised. But what had changed over those 2 years? Very little in fact!! Shortly after the birth of Aaron I found myself back in an almost identical place in terms of my mental health that I had been at when Jacob arrived and this treatment option was first presented to me. Yet this time around it felt like God was saying the time was finally right and the treatment has done the job it promised. As I look back I can see Gods rhythm at work. I had no peace 2 years ago about the treatment, but this month I have had complete peace about it. If I had pushed ahead of God 2 years ago I wouldn’t have had the journey I’ve been on over the last 2 years with all its ups and downs. Looking back I can see that there is a lot I potentially would have missed out on learning if I had gone at a different pace to God. Two years ago God said “no, not yet, it’s not the right season” and a couple of months ago He said “yes, now’s the time”.
God has now brought me to that spacious place He promised 2 years ago. It’s been a journey!! The shortcut option was there 2 years ago but I believe that God’s timing is better. Whilst there are parts of the journey that I wouldn’t have chosen, I am beginning to see some of God’s plans for me during this journey, the ways that He’s tested and strengthened my faith and my character, the way He’s brought new things into my life and removed old things, the testimony He’s given me to His faithfulness, and a deeper understanding of the importance of keeping with Gods rhythm rather than pressing on at your own pace.
Debbie, Autumn 2016