I’m learning that life is truly all about seasons.
I remember being a kid in the Assemblies of God church and hearing our minister of music talk candidly about going through a “dry spell” and I didn’t quite understand it at the time (I was 12 or 13). Oh, how things have changed in twenty years!
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
I was listening to the ever-brilliant, ever-enlightening Tim Keller yesterday morning as he explained Psalm 1 in a way that I’ve never heard and it opened my eyes a bit more to this concept of “seasons” in our lives. He talked about how, if we are that “tree planted by streams of living water, which bears it fruit in season” that we should give ourselves a bit of a break, realizing that we will bear our fruit, in the proper season. I never thought about this verse in the right way until now! I always read it quickly (even though it is my favorite Psalm) and assumed that it meant that if we are planted by the streams of living water that we would always be bearing fruit.
I’m at a place now where I am more ready than ever to speak candidly about the seasons of my life. What if we did that? What if, instead of trying to appear to always be producing fruit, instead we used each season of our lives to grow and to help others? We don’t walk through an apple orchard in the off-season and curse the trees for not having fruit, so why do we curse ourselves and others during an off-season?
My last piece of new content on this blog was nearly a year ago and one statement that I made at that time was:
God is far more concerned with a sincere heart than a spectacular ministry.
I’d like to take that a step further by saying that there is nothing God is more concerned with than a sincere heart. The message that is constantly at the front of my mind at the present time is this: YOU ARE A HUMAN. STOP TRYING TO BE GOD. For years, I made perfection my goal. Newsflash: perfection is not the goal, this side of Heaven. What if, instead of trying to be perfect, we simply embraced the fact that we are imperfect beings, living in broken bodies, in a broken world, and that the ONLY Good and Perfect One is God? What if we embraced His perfection in the midst of our imperfection? What if we accepted the fact that we are human stopped trying to be perfect? We are flawed, full of blemishes and will continue to make mistakes on a regular basis…
But God is perfect and in His perfection, He has provided a scapegoat in Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5, Psalm 18:30). In His holiness, God cares enough about us to love us unconditionally. As the only Good and Perfect One, He has made a way for the imperfect to have a relationship with perfection (Romans 5:8). During every season of my life, I pray that I will continue to view my humanity through the lens of God’s divine nature and His perfect love for me (Ephesians 2:8). I’m thankful that He is perfect in every area: in His patience, His love, His grace, and His redemption.
No matter the season, daily, I am compelled by His grace.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
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VIDEO: I was a pastor when I nearly died by suicide.
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