This past week Steve and I listened to a podcast by Peter Scazzero. The podcast discussed false beliefs about success. As Steve and I were listening, Peter talked about embracing the season you’re in. Just as there are different seasons climate-wise, there are different seasons in our lives. Some seasons are more fruitful than others. His words really struck a chord in my heart.
Perhaps you’re in a season of raising small children and you’re thinking, “This season is diapers, feedings, wiping noses, doing laundry and picking up toys.” It might not feel like it’s terribly productive. Or, perhaps you’re in a season of putting in long hours at work but not seeing results. You wonder, “What am I accomplishing?” Or, you might be in a season when the effort you’ve put in is paying off and you’re seeing lots of fruit. There are all different seasons in life and each one is an important part of your spiritual transformation.
As I was mulling this over in my heart, my mind went to John 15 – it’s one of my favorites. In this amazing chapter, Jesus calls Himself the Vine, The Father the gardener, and you and I are the branches.
In the vineyard, spring is a season full of activity – buds burst with a rapid period of growth. Summer is a beautiful season in the vineyard when large leaves grow to protect the grapes from the summer heat. The vineyard appears to be flourishing. Fall brings the harvest of big beautiful grapes! The grapes need to be picked at just the right moment when the sugar levels are at the right amount for the winery. This is an exciting season for wineries. Then comes winter – the season of pruning. The vines must be cut back in order to produce more crops the following spring.
In your life and mine, we must embrace the season we’re in and accept that the Master Gardener is cultivating our transformation so that He can harvest the greatest fruit from our lives.
How do we thrive in every season?
Plant with Purpose. No matter what season you’re in you can intentionally be planting seeds of deeper trust. Establish regular rhythms of planting. How do you plant seeds of deeper trust? Spend a few quiet moments each day reflecting on scripture. Write out a verse and post it where you’ll see it often. Take a few moments to reflect on the scripture and put it into practice in your life. Learn to live life on two levels. On one level you may be working on a project, but on another level you are carrying on a conversation with God. Or, on one level you’re rocking a baby while on another level you are praying over that child. I’m convinced that most spend more time on social media than they do conversing with Jesus. Pull away. Take a break from social media and spend some time communing with Jesus. No matter what season you are in, you can plant seeds of trust with purpose.
Embrace the limitations of your season. No matter which season you’re in there will be limitations – whether on your time, energy, or money. When Jesus came to earth as a baby, He accepted the boundaries of a human body. He was bound by 24-hour-days. He needed to sleep and eat. He was only in one place at one time. You might feel exhausted because you’re only getting a few hours of sleep due to a sick child. Or you might feel weak due to the aging process. Don’t fight it. Embrace your limitations. Cooperate with the pruning process of each season. Jesus said, “He cares for the branches, connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest” (John 15:2 The Passion Translation).
Savor the fruitful moments of your season. When you learn to cultivate your inner life with Christ, whether you are experiencing success or perceived failure, you can savor the evidence of fruit. Fruit comes in all different shapes and sizes. Savor the moments when you find yourself spending longer times in prayer, or the moments of boldly sharing your faith. Savor the moments when kindness wins over contempt and peace reigns over anxiety. When we savor the fruitful moments of each season, no matter if the harvest is great or small, we cultivate a heart of contentment. The Apostle Paul wrote that contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6).
I am home most of this week. Then Steve and I head to our daughter’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving.
How you can pray
Please pray as I continue to write that God will pour out His words through me.
Please pray as Steve and I prepare to launch Listen Well, Lead Better. The book officially releases in January, but you can pre-order your copy now.
This book is for every leader. Steve and I had a lot of fun writing together and we can’t wait for you to read it!
Please pray for a great end of the year giving to Reach Beyond.
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