Seasons of Life – how do they affect your needs and your abilities to minister? Is there ever a “perfect” season?
I know what I would tell you:
The perfect season for you to serve is the one you are in. Period.
Of course it will look different for everyone, and that’s the point. There are a lot of different needs in the world, and it takes more than just variety in gifts and talents to reach them – it takes variety in life’s seasons too.
This season you’re in today – whatever it looks like – is exactly where he wants you to be. He EQUIPS you with his power. He has QUALIFIED you by his blood. He PROTECTS you by his promises. He REDEEMS where you are – even in your brokenness – and GLORIFIES himself through it. He STRENGTHENS you in the weak places. He VALUES your sacrifice in the mundane as much as the radical. He ORCHESTRATES the events and time of your life and is not limited by your location or other life circumstances. He has PURPOSED work for you, and you are not where you are by accident.
Yes, His plans for you today are good, and he will use you where you are. He is not hindered by what you see as limitations of your present place in life.
I’d do everything to assure you of this, and I would mean it with my whole heart. But do I really live like I believe it’s true?
Honestly? I recognize it’s truth yet my flesh rages against it, shouting at me that there’s something better ahead. I’m tempted to believe that I’ll really come into my calling when the next page is turned, whatever “next page” most appeals to me that day – when I have more time, when I have more experience, when my kids are all in school, when there’s more money saved, when life gets easier than it is now, when…when…when….
I battle those lies often, and I lose quite a bit. My nature is to feel restless where I am, anticipating the next season that I expect will bring more ease in serving where and how I feel led.
Here’s what I choose to remind myself in the battle times:
1.) Season-comparison is trouble. Nothing helpful comes of it.
2.) It’s not always supposed to be easy; faith is a good thing!
3.) God operating in seasons is a concept found all over Scripture. Think of how God worked in the lives of the saints: Often there were waiting periods, long times of doing something different than what he called them to before he actually moved them into that calling, but none of it was disconnected from God’s plan. Yes, they were seasons of preparation, but they were also much more.
4.) We’re not promised tomorrow. It’s obvious. But how little my mind is occupied with that thought on a daily basis! Instead, I count on more tomorrows, and it makes me sit still when I should be moving.
Lord, help me to see this season as the right one for me to know you better, understand your gospel love more deeply, and to share it more passionately with those around me. Teach me to be ok with whatever my role is, content with your right-now purpose planned for me. I trust that your joy will be found here.
Others may answer this question differently, but I don’t know how to address seasons of life in ministry without examining the heart struggles it invokes for me. Continually I have to ask myself: Do I trust him for today, believing in his power to use the less-sparkly moments for his glory? Can I wait patiently for what he has in store later, all the while holding loosely my idea of what the future may include?
I’d love to know – what heart issues does this question spark for you? And what do you do to guard your mind and remain obedient in these things?