Thursday, May 31, 2012

The World Runs In Seasons

Summer is upon us! I truly can’t believe this school year went by so fast – being baptized in the city so dear to my heart, going on a missions trip to Thailand, visiting {and loving!} Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and doing lots of Bible teaching. God worked in wonderful ways, most certainly!!! He reveals His love in all sorts of ways, and I am slowly learning the importance of finding His grace in the little things. Time flies by. Summer will come, and what promises it holds! But with a blink, I remember, it will be gone.

Just like life, the world runs in seasons. Each season offers something different. But just what does summer’s embrace hold? Does it promise relaxation and sunshine and vacation and socializing and a rest from chaos? Or, {if you’re like me} does it hold more volunteering and missions trips and slipping some schoolwork {or housework} in the gaps, trying to still savor Saturday and Sunday as cherished times to rest and finding that they, too, secretly store up additional demands on life? What, then, of summer’s embrace? Does life ever really slow down? Do we ever really feel that we have time to enjoy, to delight in God’s gifts?

Let me tell you something I’ve learned this year: life doesn’t slow down. Not really. It goes through seasons, some more stretched out than others. But something God’s been teaching me a lot lately is that adding more to my schedule or taking things away doesn’t necessarily mean a faster or slower life. No, I find that it’s sometimes the mothers with a dozen children running around the house who homeschool and clean and cook for a living who are the most content…..the ones who take life the most slowly.

I started teaching at my church recently. Of course, I love it – teaching kids is my passion, and it’s been great to get more practice! Yet between that and volunteering at a local ministry and trying to keep up with homework, my life feels like it gets sucked away. Time refuses to stand still, and I try to keep up with the rush and excel at what I do…..Then, I forget to praise God for all He’s given me, for opening the doors for the opportunities and providing strength. I choose to pursue the desires of my heart at my timing with my pace. So while I still have fun, nothing slows down. I get worn-out in the long run. My mind can’t keep up with my heart! It’s not exactly a successful relax-and-enjoy-life endeavor.

This summer doesn’t promise anything less crazy than what I have now. I’m learning, with my dear Lord’s help, that being busy doesn’t mean that I have to get worn out. Yes, it will be a stretch in my life, and I’ll need to savor my weekends. But He’s called me to it, and He does promise strength through it all. It’s especially effective when I stop, smack in the middle of chaos, and say, “Lord, thank you for these children…they’re fighting, yes, but they are so precious to You and to me. Thank You for this city…yes, it’s broken down. But Your hope shines through the cracks everywhere! Thank You for pre-calculus. I’ll never understand it, probably never even use it, but You somehow created all this. You are so much greater than I’ll ever know!”

To stop, and be thankful. To count His gifts, in the peace times, war times, or in-between times. My friends, one of the very best things you could do this summer is to take time with the One who so perfectly and beautifully fashioned you, and thank Him for all He’s given. Ask His counsel on what He has for you this summer – you might be surprised to find His plans are much different than Yours. But remember this. His plan is always to prosper, to give you a future and a hope. Thank Him, follow Him, thank Him, trust Him, thank Him some more, and obey Him…. Enjoy His embrace through His beautifully designed summer season!

 Michelle blogs at Go visit her!

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