For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. James 4:14b
When Peg asked us to write on ‘seasons’ I thought, “no problem”. We have all shared about ‘going through’ a season. Yet, seasons denote a repetitive structured event that occurs without regard to life or circumstance. I don’t see life in Christ as seasonal. I view it more as having growth spurts, with an ebb and flow. More like our marital relationships or a relationship with our children.
When I was young in the Lord, I laughed a lot and knew so little of the weariness of life. Like a child who loves their parent and believes they will never die or allow anyone to harm them. I felt safe in believing that the Lord would protect me and my loved ones from all the pain of this world; until I was no longer a babe in Christ. That was a wonderful season…lol. My season of naivety.
Like a marriage “when the honeymoon is over”, there is a time when I could no longer keep my eyes closed or protect my heart from the inevitable pain of living. I’ve been so fortunate, it would have been easy to remain naive and believe the Lord does not allow His faithful children to suffer at the hands of the unfaithful. Nothing is further from the truth than thinking Christians don’t suffer. If anything, there is a window of empathy and suffering that is opened wider and wider as we allow our hearts to beat with the heart of Christ. As we grow in Him, He who causes all things to become good. Does so not by changing our worldly circumstances but by breaking our hearts in all the right places. Until bruised and battered, we fall on our knees and only the Lord can comfort the ache of life. Only in Christ, knowing His eternal purposes are beyond our knowing can I find solace and peace in this world. Because I know this world is only a wisp of time and “a beginning”. Like a honeymoon, we must come home to live with our spouse for all eternity. The things of this life are like a vapor that vanishes and then there are those things the Lord values, the things that do not burn up like wood, hay and stubble that are eternal: faith, hope and love.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zdUaul-rsM (Leonard Ravenhill – Wood hay and stubble vs Gold, silver and precious stones)
I laugh to think how petty, how naive we Christians can be. Until one day we are in a fox hole and death is staring us down. There are no atheists in fox holes, either they are believers or they are terrified of a great emptiness before them. How does an unbeliever step into eternity with nothing or no one to hold onto? I find comfort in knowing this life is short. Life is but a vapor that vanishes away. I keep my eyes on the prize ahead and know that the Lord values our years, is concerned about our fears and holds our tears. Yet always always stands guard over our hearts. In God’s economy, with faith in Him, suffering and tears have great value; these things may be the ‘rod of guidance and the staff of correction, we choose. We can be bitter or allow the Lord to reshape our hearts and be better in Him. It is we who change, not our circumstances.
When we allow the pain of others to seep into our own consciousness, we see Christ and His love and hope for all mankind. We can empathize with those who out of ignorance disregard the Lord’s righteousness because there is no joy in knowing we are all in a fox hole together and when one suffers, we all suffer. The Lord loves us all, died for us all and will one day be known by all. We who are more fortunate to know Him now, cannot boast, knowing that there but by the grace of God go I. My faith in a just and merciful God, a loving and compassionate God gives me peace in knowing His justice is mercy, His love is eternal and He judges righteously.
I suppose the time it takes for us to grow in Christ can be like the seasons but seasons will go on long after we are gone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-94ecuHcqw&spfreload=10 Canon Andrew White / Sharing in the Sufferings and Glories of Christ