Monday, June 12, 2017

Embrace the Season

Image from Mary Engelbreit daily calendar.
Year 5 - Day 162: Today, I am grateful we can embrace each season.

"Embrace the current season of your life."-Gabrielle Blair

The image is from a Mary Engelbreit daily calendar. She has been my favorite artist or 25 years. Her heart, her art, her passion for quotes and her whimsy resonate in the deepest parts of my heart. 

This is a simple image I have seen and probably looked over for years. I don't know when she created it, but the quote uses one of my favorite frames for dealing with different times in our lives. Each one is a season. 

For those over 30, you know how fast the decades begin to fly by. Within each one, there are seasons. More than summer, fall, winter and spring. There are the teen years, young adult, thirtysomething, fabulous forties, fearless fifties, sassy sixties, sensational seventies, engaging eighties and needed wisdom of those who are granted ninety years and beyond. 

I am grateful that we can be fearless in the march into each new season. There will be ups and downs. Bumps and bruises. And, we can get weary, but the season we are in must be lived. 

I love this passage from Exodus 14. Moses has submitted to God's sovereignty and consented to leading the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. Moses had no idea what was ahead, but I think he had an inkling that it was not going to be a walk in the park. I don't think he anticipated 40 years in the desert. 

Sometimes, it is good to NOT know what lies ahead. God reveals things as we need to know them and when the time is right. How many times have we... in retrospect... have we been grateful that we didn't know something tough was ahead. It steals the joy out of the the good moments of this day. 

Back to Moses... and the exodus from Egypt. The people are already fretting and complaining. They kept their religious rituals, but they had forgotten the power of the living God who had promised to protect them and deliver them into the promised land. They were enslaved in Egypt... and in their hearts they were held captive by their fears of what might or might not be ahead of them. 

Moses speaks these words:

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”-Exodus 14:13-14

In just a short time, God would part the Red Sea and drowned Pharaoh's army. Soon, they would be in the middle of the miracle. They didn't really see it coming. The sea was intimidating and so was the army behind them. There was little joy in the season. 

God is faithful; His hand is mighty to save. There may be some discomfort, but there are also lessons and goodness that comes with even the hardest times. I am always awed by how people come together to stand against a common enemy, weather event or problem to be solved. 
Adversity makes us stronger. It has the power to tear down a few walls along the way, if we let it. 

Sand, time and discomfort combined and the oyster eventually produces a pearl. 
Pressure, time and heat turns coal into diamonds, right? 

I really like things that sparkle. I try to savor seasons that are light, fun and full of the happy stuff. Still, I find I often grow in the hard times. One thing I know for sure... God is God in each season. I don't have to be afraid. 

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today... The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

He's got this. 

Today, I am grateful we can embrace each season.

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