I recently had an interesting conversation with a sweet friend who felt befuddled that God had asked her to step down from a women's ministry obligation she adored. She had a hard time reconciling the fact because it's what she feels strongly called to do.
I can completely relate. About seven years ago I was involved in women's ministry when God told me I needed to step out and focus on my marriage and my kids. Though it was difficult, I did. Obedience is not always easy, but when we trust God and not our own hearts, and trust His timing, we can still have peace, even when we don't completely understand.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
So why does God sometimes ask us to step out of things we enjoy--things we are clearly gifted for?
It could be the season we're in.
When we prayerfully consider the season we're in, we can not only walk in a measure of understanding, but God can help us to perceive the big picture, surrender our plans, and trust that He is still at work.
See if you resonate with a particular season below.
The Winter Season - Is a period when nothing much happens and we sense a dormancy in a particular area of our lives. It seems like the "No" season and can sometimes feel frustrating because we attempt to plant (ideas, businesses, ministry, babies,) but nothing nothing takes. Nothing blooms. It's also a season of rest.
- The hard part of the winter season: When you feel ready, it's easy to become frustrated when nothing happens. Many feel confused during this season. The remedy is to focus on what is in front of you and stay close to God.
- The beauty of the winter season: It's a quiet time; a season with plenty of time for rest, recovery, healing, reflection, and the opportunity to draw near to God. This is an excellent time to become familiar with the voice of the Lord and allow your faith to stretch and grow.
The Spring Season - This is the season of promise. It's also the get ready season; a time of anticipation, preparation, and growth. Our dreams and plans are starting to tenderly bud. We sense potential and excitement.
- The hard part of the spring season: Running ahead of God in our exuberance is something we need to be careful about. We also need to use wisdom in our decisions as various opportunities begin to appear and increase.
- The beauty of the spring season: Watching doors begin to open and seeing God's faithfulness begin to unfold before our eyes. It's an energizing time when we're bursting with holy potential.
The Summer Season - is our most busy season, when we're fully engaged in a specific area (or areas) in our life. It's a fruitful, productive time of divine opportunities and deep focus. Though our work load increases, God's grace extends to this revved-up season.
- The hard part of the summer season: Walking in balance is probably the greatest challenge. When everything is flowing it's easy to overextend and work too much, to the detriment of another area or even people in our lives.
- The beauty of the summer season: Is seeing the fruit of God's promises come to pass. Things we've prayed about, planted and toiled over mature and ripen; it's a fulfilling, rewarding time--even though lots of hard work is involved.
The Autumn Season - Is a time change, pruning, and pulling back to reevaluate an area of our life. Often it's time to deal with fatigue or burn-out. Sometimes God's anointing has simply departed from a particular thing and we recognize it's time to let go and change directions.
- The hard part of the autumn season: Sometimes it's difficult to step out of something we love, or to leave a place or people we care about. It can be uncomfortable to transition, but if we are wise, we'll allow God's fresh, cool wind to change our course.
- The beauty of the autumn season: Change can be an exciting and beautiful thing. Often a new direction, thought initially scary, brings a fresh breeze to our souls.
So tell me, do what season are you in?
To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)