It’s raining outside and I’m looking in my backyard. My plants, bushes, and flowers are loving it. They thrive, not just surviving through all seasons. The seasons are a template for our lives. Climates that are more seasonal provide a time for dormancy, a time for new growth and a time for blooming to maturity. We thrive in much the same way. Plant life is seasonal and ours is cyclical.
“To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,” Eccl 3:1, NKJV
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” Eccl.3:1 NIV
There are times when we are dormant, in a space of inner thoughts and meditations. A time when we either voluntarily retreat or changes occur in our life, i.e, illness, loss of a job, family breakup, natural events – storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires and flooding to name a few, events that cause us to retreat and close out the world. There are times when our Lord needs to get in touch with us and prepare us for upcoming events and jobs He has for us. This happened to me, He called often over a ten year period. I heard Him and kept putting His request for a stronger relationship off, choosing to spend a few minutes here and there with Him. Then one day, the opportunity to voluntarily choose no longer became an option, it became a command and I was forced to withdraw from the world and focus on Him, His Word, and His plan for my life.
Wouldn’t it be great if new growth didn’t require a form of destruction, undoing, and pruning? I think it is important to note that God created the earth and plant life before He created us.
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. Genesis 1:11-13 NIV
Do you think He used the same template of regeneration with us? My new growth appeared after I spent solitary time with the Lord for two and a half years. My time of dormancy was the result of early retirement. I found myself home eight hours a day. Much of that time was spent in prayer and study. The new growth could not have occurred without the time of dormancy. Through dormancy, I entered a much stronger relationship with God, my fellowship with Him felt effervescent, and still does to this day, some four years later, and my connection to the Word is woven much more tightly. New growth is a brilliant time in plant life and ours as well.
Time of Blooming
As new plants grow, so do we as Christians studying the Word of God. This is the time when we can evangelize to others. We have developed a command of the scriptures. It is a time of sharing the Good News and a time when the Holy Spirit glows through our being. It is a time of sharing our relationship with the Lord through writings, blogging, speeches, and conversations. It is the time of blooming.
Life is Cyclical
I have learned from my experiences and the process of studying the Word that our lives are cyclical and hence seasonal. There are times of rest, times of challenges and times of victories. There are times of inactivity and times of activity. There are times when our pace is slow and time of quantum jumps. We cannot rest thinking we will always ride the wave of good fortune. If we did, God would not have prepared ‘the way’. Our experiences establish our relationship with Him. Our experiences, good and bad, intentional and not, are the soil that feeds us.
We will experience, drought, wind, rain, sun, heat, storms, tsunamis, deserts, disappearing paths, cliffs, and free falls in our lives. Establishing a strong relationship with our Lord will soften the impact. We will not lose our way, and if we do He will redirect us and plant us in a new garden. Fellowship will other Christians will help us through the dark periods as they share their experience and help us traverse ours, they are our fertilizer and in some cases our weed killer, providing support and fortification in the Word.
Our Lord has provided everything we need in life, all He asks is that we receive His gift of His Son, Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and allow the Holy Spirit to our hearts.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 NKJV
The sun is back out, the clouds are still in the sky and my flowers and plant life are thriving and exhilarated, as am I. I thank God every day for my life and my relationship with Him. I am grateful that I am His child and He loves me despite my flaws. He knows me in my humanness, accepts who I am and inspires me to live a Christ-like life as a Christian Warrior trying to be fully dependent upon Him and obey His commands.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I found this slide of the Christian Growth Cycle, produced by PVB Church Without Walls, and think it expresses our cycle of Christian growth, the Making of a Christian Warrior, very well. It is a great summation of this post.
Scriptures – Biblegateway.com
Images – Google Images. LAB’s photo collection, PVB Church.com
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