No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.
How do those words strike you? Do they invoke feelings of envy or want? Do they make you feel deprived, or that you are appointed to be missing something? Or do they bring relief; relief from the pressure to perform, to achieve, to have?
The way you respond to that statement determines the amount of suffering you will endure. We all go through seasons in our lives. For everything there is a season. And there is purpose in our seasons. But seasons come to an end; and with good reason. God has a purpose, and it is helpful for us to remember that it is not about us.
John the baptist understood this.
When Jesus came on the scene, he didn't gripe or grab tightly to his ministry. He didn't view Jesus as the competition. He understood. He understood that the purpose God had for him was coming to an end. And he was good with that. In fact, he even rejoiced in it. His attitude was right.
In our lives we will go through seasons. Couples enjoy the romance of each other's company. Children are born to those couples. Children grow up and leave home. Children come back home. Retirement begins. All seasons. Jobs change. Ministries change. There is nothing wrong with that. It is natural and it is normal.
I once heard about a ministry that God had called a man to. God told him that this ministry would last only ten years. It was to serve a purpose and then end. How would you feel about taking on a ministry that was only for a season? Does that seem wrong in its essence?
The fact of the matter is, all that we have has been given to us by God. Each season, with its own flavor and unique properties, comes from God and is a gift from Him to be enjoyed and walked through. And when God changes the season, effectively taking it away from us, He brings the next season. It is given to us by God. There is no reason to stress over that or hold onto the "good ol' days".
God is doing something new. Will you let go of the past and grab onto the new? And more importantly, when the new has served its purpose will you let go of that? Remember, it all comes from Him.
(Paintings by Audrey)