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Sunday, May 9, 2010

God's Seasonal Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I was in my twenties, the spring of my life, when I first started going to the garden. I must admit that those times were few and far between. Most of the time I simply wanted to present God with my wish list. I was too busy having fun to spend very much time in the garden.
In my thirties we started our family and for sure I was way too busy to be in the garden! I didn’t even have time to water my house plants! The kids and that NEVER EMPTY laundry basket kept me hopping and I was also totally exhausted from lack of sleep. During that season of my life the garden was basically a place where I only went to cry for help or to ask for protection for my family.

The summer of my life arrived in my forties and I needed answers. So I began to spend more time with God in the garden. These years were full of questions. Did prayer really work? Was God really concerned about me? Why did God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why do Christian people disappoint us? Why can’t I be perfect in my obedience to God?

Then before I knew it the fifties had arrived and brought a major change to my life. We moved from Illinois to Maryland leaving a whole bunch of family and friends behind. Although I was eager for the new experience, this move left me devastated. I had just lost my father, my daughter had left for college, and my hormones were doing weird things! If that was not enough, my husband began traveling weekly leaving me at home with a teenage son. In desperation I ran to God! This desert of loss and loneliness was more than I could bear. But it was during this isolation that God really met me in the garden and taught me amazing things. Because of my great need, I was finally driven to discipline myself to a deeper “quite time” in the garden with God.

As I entered the autumn of my life I was approaching my sixties God began to use my life to serve others. I began mentoring several women, and leading a women’s Bible study. When exhaustion set in God said that’s enough and for whatever reason, we moved to our beautiful home in North Carolina. The seclusion of this home provided the next season God had in store for me. God knew that I needed restoration and redirection that could only be found in solitude. God has had so many wonderful things to share with me during this time. I began to write not really knowing what God would do with the words he was giving me.

I do not know what God will do with the winter of my life or if I will even live to see those days, but if I do, I am confident that just like in all of the other seasons there will be a heavenly purpose and plan. Was I a better Christian in one season verses another? No, I don’t think so. I was simply a child of God who he was calling to the garden. There were times when God simply needed me to minister and care for my family. In another season I was desperate and God met my need. In yet another season God helped me to raise the bar in my own spiritual life, as I studied and prepared for teaching others. Then there was the rest and restoration that could only come to me in my season of solitude. God has graciously taught me that in everything there is indeed God’s perfect season. God alone knows the plans and purpose he has for us, plans to give us a hope and a future.

What season in life are you in right now?

How are you reaching out to God?

How is God ministering and teaching you?


Dear Jesus,

Thank you for every season of my life. Help me to discover the purpose that each season has held. I simply want to say thank you for being with me in my current season of life. Increase my awareness of you as I go through my day. Open my ears so I might hear your call, order my heart so I might obey. I pray that you will continue to teach me and prepare me for the next season of my life.

In Your Name I pray. Amen.