Monday, May 3, 2010

A Season for Everything

The joys and sorrows of life. We all face them. How privileged we are to traverse life's path with those who willingly come alongside us. What a blessing to be an encouragement to another when the roles are reversed.

In the past couple of months, I've watched life's roller coaster deal mountain top experiences to some, while plunging others into devastating valleys. Rejoicing with those experiencing motherhood for the first time, and crying with others over catastrophic marital difficulties, and the death of loved ones. Because of sin, I know there will be difficulty and suffering. I have to admit, it can be a bit overwhelming when the tidal wave of adversity crashes in, threatening to engulf everyone in its path.

King Solomon penned the stark truth, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4; KJV). There IS a season for everything. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul spells out one of the practical responsibilities of believers, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15).

I think I've got the 'rejoicing' part down. It's fun to be a part of the joyous celebrations of life - graduations, weddings, births. The difficulty begins when we're called on to help the one facing marital struggles, be there for the heartbroken, or sit with a dying family member. My tendency is to shrink back from these 'uncomfortable' situations and let someone else handle them. But if I'm to put feet to my faith, I'll overcome my selfishness and be there in both the good times and the bad.

Although I may not always understand the 'whys' of life, I am confident that each circumstance presents an opportunity for faith to grow. James put it this way, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:2-4). The certainty is that trials and difficulties will come. The question becomes, will life's trials and difficulties make or break our faith?

While navigating the pathway of life, everything we encounter is designed to draw us into a closer relationship with the Lord. His plan is not to keep us from pain, but to mature and perfect us, to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). He won't force us to be conformed. The choice is ours. Will we allow the hardships in our life and in the lives of others to solidify and grow our faith? Or will we become disillusioned in the process? The next time you encounter difficulty, or are called upon to be there for a friend, allow yourself to be rooted and grounded in Christ so the storms of life become useful tools to cultivate life-changing faith!


  1. Amen!!! Such truths are the foundation of our existence in Christ and vital to our survival!!!! :) Thanks for the good post!

  2. Positive, spiritual look at how God can use the storms in life for positive good.

  3. I would rather not relive the storms of my past, however, I am very thankful for each of them...they have molded me into the person I am, today.
    Great post!
    Blessings, andrea

  4. Good advice. I too, am pretty good at the rejoicing part. Am a work in progress on the other part, but I'll get there.

  5. My heart aches for everyone in pain. I love the rejoicing, but I always want to hug the victims too.

  6. It is one of the great things about the Body of Christ ~ having someone to rejoice with me and weep with me and getting to do the same thing for others. Thanks for the reminder, Maria.

  7. I've always thought I would make a good crisis counselor b/c I seem to know how to "be there" for people during the difficult times. It's small talk that God's trying to teach me about. I'm still not sure I get it. ;)
    ~ Wendy

  8. What a beautiful post, Maria. That verse from Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite verses. I know that even our dark days or seasons make us stronger, allowing us to rejoice in the light.

  9. Hi Maria -

    Jesus said we'd experience troubles in this world, but to rejoice because he'd overcome the world. As a former pastor said, "I've looked at the end of the book, and we win."

    Susan :)

  10. Jaime - Thank you for your words of encouragement! God's blessings as you continue following His truth!

    Warren - Thanks for stopping by! I always appreciate your comments! God bless!

    Andrea - I can certainly related to not wanting to relive the storms that have come my way. I'm so thankful that the Lord can use each and every one of them to shape me into who He wants me to be! Blessings to you today!

    Karen - It's comforting to know that our faith walk is an on-going journey. Perfection will never be reached this side of heaven. Until then, may we yeild to the Potter's molding and shaping! God bless!

  11. Jill - God bless you as you continue to reach out to those in need!! He will use you greatly!

    Glenda - You're so right! I'm thankful for the believers God has placed in my life who allow me to share their joys & burdens - and in turn are there for me! Praise the Lord for His good plan!

    Wendy - Sounds like God has given you a special gift!! I've been part of a couple Pregnancy Care Centers, and know that there's a huge need for the skill God has gifted you with. Thanks for sharing your heart! Blessings!

    Heather - I appreciate your kind words! It is good to know that God can use every experience to teach us more about Himself! God bless you!

    Susan - Thanks for your words of wisdom! It is important to remember that we are more than conquerors in Christ!! The victory is ours for the claiming! God bless!

  12. Maria,
    So true that the question is ultimately where our faith lands in the midst of the challenges. I'll add to the illustration ... last time I rode a coaster, it whipped my neck around in the sudden curves it threw, and I really felt pain later from the impact. So like life, and that makes the faith question all the more important. Great insights,

  13. I tend to shrink from crises as well. My childhood was so fraught with them; I'd like to run away when trouble comes again. But you're right, of course. We need to put feet to our faith and decide to follow Jesus through the storm.

    Besides, all the battles I've fought have made me compassionate. And that's all most people need when they're hurting--someone who understands.

  14. Great post. I choose God's hand to shape me - any way He decides - because I know His plans will not harm me.