To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…
We all go through seasons in our lives. Some good, some bad, some life-changing and some devastating. During our greatest seasonal moments we find ourselves empowered or fulfilled, while during our most trying and difficult seasons we find ourselves sad, lonely, or perhaps even suicidal. Tough seasons caused by sickness, financial hardships, or loss of a loved one can cause many of us to become paralyzed – preventing us from truly experiencing joy, happiness and most importantly – the love of God.
A few years ago I lost a dear friend to cancer. She was like a big sister who’s journey and faith inspired and humbled me on so many levels. In some of her sickest days she would find the time to minister and inspire others to live and enjoy life – while continuing to trust and serve God with everything that she had. When she died, I naturally began to ask “why” and “how” could we afford to lose someone who has given so much and inspired so many. Then immediately I found myself humbled and grateful that God thought so much of me to play a small role in this amazing woman’s life. I miss those calls that always began with “Hey little brother.”
But what she taught me is that no matter what season we’re in – we still have to produce. Sometimes we allow our circumstances to prevent us from sharing ourselves with others. We want to wait until things get better in our lives so others will only experience our happiest and most successful seasons in life. But just as Jesus gave us everything, we have to do the same. We have benefited just as much from Jesus pain as we have from his love and compassion. Jesus knew that every part of his life was an opportunity for us to grow and mature as human beings. People can grow from our pain just as much as they can grow from our success. As my friend was dying, she showed that being terminally ill did not absolve her from providing someone else with hope.
Mark 11:12-14 NKJV
Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
Even though the tree was not in it’s perfect season, Jesus still had an expectation for that tree to produce fruit. And when the tree failed to produce – he cursed the tree because the tree failed to do what it was designed and purposed to do.
And Jesus answered and said unto it,…
The scripture says that Jesus “answered” the tree. Jesus was only responding to the tree’s action or lack thereof. Whether we produce or not, we are still speaking, but are we speaking life or are we speaking death. Trust me, if you’re depressed or in pain, someone recognizes it – you can’t fool everyone.
Pain to Progress
When we are faced with seemingly overwhelming obstacles, then we have to dig deep and find a way to channel that pain into progress. We cannot allow difficult or cold seasons to prevent us from being productive or reaching our purpose in life and most importantly helping others reach their purpose in life.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
“Wait upon” means to “serve” – just as we are being waited on or “served” at a restaurant. Unfortunately many of us have wrongly misinterpreted that scripture as to “sit” and “wait” on the Lord until things get better. That is the furthest thing from the truth. When things are not going well in our lives we have to find or create opportunities to serve God by serving others – the Lord will in return “renew our strength”. The scripture follows by saying we “shall mount up with wings as eagles”. Our service will allow us to “mount up” and rise above our circumstances to see the needs of others. Rest assure, rough seasons will come in our lives, but that’s when we have to trust God, serve, and produce more than ever – because regardless of the season, just as Jesus still had an expectation for that tree to produce, He has an even greater expectation for us.
Rise Forward Question:
What are you going through in your life that’s preventing you from producing and walking in your divine purpose?
Rise Forward Activity:
- Ask yourself what are the thing(s) that you have not accomplished due to trying and difficult seasons in your life.
- If there are more than one, prioritize each one based upon which will take the least amount of time first.
- Surround yourself around positive individuals that will encourage you to press forward.
- Never give up!