I invite you to read Joan’s Summer Son-Shine post.
I love the different seasons of the year. Each one has its own special quality to be enjoyed and appreciated. In the spring, new life bursts forth and nature seems to have endless energy. The flowers spring up, the grass turns green seemingly overnight and the fields and streams are teaming with life. Summer closely follows with long, sunny days that allow endless hours to enjoy the beauty that the earlier season provided. At the end of summer comes the harvest when nature reaps the bounty of the activity of the previous months. Then, the evenings begin to cool, the leaves curl, turn golden brown and fall to the ground, leaving behind what appears to be empty branches. Autumn has arrived. Finally, winter blows its frigid breath across the earth and life seems to be on hold. But, is it really? In the winter, when the earth is frozen and no buds are on the trees, is life gone? We may feel that all is withered and dead, but God is still there, working beneath the snow covered surface to renew life once more.
When I think about nature’s seasons, I often think about the cycle of my own life. I am not in the spring anymore, but not yet in winter. Can I still be productive? Do I still have a place in which to serve the Lord? Can He still use me? When I ask myself these questions my mind spirals downward and I fool myself into believing that I have nothing to offer. I have dreams in my heart, but as I look to others and think they are far more qualified to serve than I am, I become discouraged.
Why does this happen? Deception is the great tool of the enemy. He seeks to place even a small doubt and feeling of unworthiness within us and waits for it to grow. If we allow that doubt to continue to remain in our hearts, it will develop into a stagnant time of perceived failure. And failure, on our part, is what the enemy is trying to achieve. We need to not simply sit back and allow this to happen. God has given us the tools in His word to combat these strategies of the enemy. We need to stand firm in our faith and remember the promises of God.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)
God has promised that He a good plan for each one of us. He has gifted us with certain skills and abilities He wants to use to fulfill His purpose. His plan is unfolded in each season of our lives. It doesn’t matter if we are in the spring or in the winter. When we allow Him to work through us each season will be summer!
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
I may not have the same energy level I had as a teen, but I have gained experiences from which God has shown me many things. Sharing the lessons that I have learned throughout my life is one way to serve. Being a listening ear to a hurting friend is another. Serving God doesn’t have to be big and flashy. It is simply using what God has given us to further His kingdom. You may be thinking that you are too young…or too old. But in each time of your life, as your physical abilities change, God can and still will use you. All we need to do is be available to Him. Watch for opportunities He places before you. He may urge you to do something you never imagined you could do or He may simply want you to share a smile with a stranger needing His love.
“Throw yourself into the work of the Master confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Msg.)
No matter what it is that you do for Him, no matter in what season of life you are, God will take your simple offering of service to bring honor and glory to Him. You can be sure that nothing, large or small, done in our Savior’s name will be wasted!
Joan Davis has been a blogger over at The Beauty in His Grip for the past 4 years. She began blogging out of her thankfulness to God for His redeeming hand on her life. She believes that everything happens for a reason and the life-lessons learned along the way should be shared with others in order to build up the body for Christ. It is her desire is to encourage other women through the lessons that God has taught her. Joan shares the incredible truth that we can never fall so far that we are beyond the reach of God. There are no lost causes, for He loves us all. It doesn’t matter how rocky our pasts, God will always accept us when we surrender our lives to Him. With Christ we can live a life filled with abundant joy simply by knowing and experiencing Him through His mercy, grace and unfailing love. Through both smooth and challenging times in her life, Joan has seen God’s faithfulness and now looks at each day as a new day to celebrate His goodness! www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com