The Christian Journey – The Good the Bad and the In-Between
For Christians, holding on to God is the first and foremost priority in our lives during the good, the bad and the in-between seasons of life. Now we do know that God has said there are seasons for everything in life. This we know and believe. Things such as a time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to pluck up what has been planted. And so forth and so on. And so these seasons will come and these seasons will go.
But in recent years I have heard of another set of seasons pertaining particularly to the life of the believer. It has been said that the Christian life is made up of three seasons and/or stages…these being that you are either going through a storm, coming out of a storm, or in a relative “peace” time getting ready for a storm to come any day. In some senses this is true, although I don’t think it can be as neatly packaged as this. Yet the reality is there could be multiple stages of these three going on all at once. As Christians, we are not guaranteed specific times of peace and/or specific times of trouble.
In our times of peace there typically is still some trouble. And in our times of trouble, we can still be at peace. This is the paradox of our journey with the Lord. Always dealing with trouble. Always having peace. So what is the encouragement to us? What is the takeaway here? What is the lesson to be learned in this?
I’d say it is to not focus so much on defined periods of where we are, worrying ourselves with questions such as, “Am I in a storm now or am I coming out of one now? Is this a season of peace for me? And if so, should I be bracing for a coming storm? And if so, what do I need to do to get ready?”…..Please. Brother. Sister. Stop. Don’t get yourself caught up in this exercise of futility! Because if you do, you will be trotting down the very path Jesus was trying to have us avoid when he told us in Matthew 6 to not be anxious and worry about our lives. For each day has enough trouble of its own.
So know this for certain – that every day there will be something. And over the course of days there will be things. And over the course of months there will be loads. And over the course of years there will be permanent thorns we have to live with. But the key to victory here is to not focus on this. That is what the enemy wants. The adversary wants us to become so preoccupied with our storms and our stages of life and where we are now and where we are going and when we are coming out and when we are going in, that we totally lose focus and sight of the mission at hand!
And so let’s not let the enemy distract us. And how do we do that? Well one way is to not get caught up in exalting the seasons and stages we go through as Christians. Just know that all of our days and ways are known by God. He has assured us in no uncertain terms that we will have sufficient trouble for each day, and that these troubles will last as long as we are on this earth. But thanks be to God that He has also promised that even in the midst of these troubles, perfect peace that surpasses all understanding can be ours!….What good news that is for us who believe!….A peace given to us by God Himself that the world does not offer and cannot know apart from the Spirit of God.
So let’s take heed to the admonishment in Hebrews 12 to “lay aside every weight and sin that so easy entangles us and instead run with patient endurance the race set before…and get this…looking not to what is the next “season” or “stage” in our Christian life- BUT rather …looking unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith.”
So, believer, let’s not get caught up in worrying about what’s the current or next season or stage in our lives. Let us instead fix our eyes on Jesus, fix our eyes on the prize, carry out our mission and finish the race we have set before us until we get to our final rest with our Master.
And there we won’t have to play guess work on the seasons or stages we are in….because every day will be like Sunday! 🙂