Things in life really do come and go. Emotions, seasons, family friends, all things. Some last a long time, hopefully family and friends, some are short but all things have an end.
Recently in my devotions I have read a few of the minor prophets, you know those books you say you believe are important but never read. The amazing thing is often Israel was in a state of disaster or impending disaster, the kind of season that overwhelms you as a person. You can’t stop thinking, can’t sleep, can’t function. Those seasons always ended. God was and is the only thing that is eternal. We are promised to share in that but we have a beginning. God always was and always will be. Those seasons of desperation must look so short to Him. He was telling Israel, look to me, this will end but they so often kept looking at circumstances, at their surroundings.
How often do we do the same thing. I know I had been. I was continuing to try and seek the Lord, be led. I have been working on finishing the last part of our residency papers, praying with Melissa and the kids about “our calling”. At the same time I was getting discouraged about some of the ministry things that ended. Some of the hardships. Instead of being thankful for the season of fruitfulness I was getting discouraged by a different season. We are in a season of change. A season of paper work, packing, cleaning searching for a new house. We couldn’t move on to something I believe will much better match who God has made our family to be if the season of busy ministry hadn’t slowed down.
I am putting together notes to teach on evangelism. I am looking at the story of God, the bible. How do we spread our faith, what is it, what is the purpose. It comes down to answering some of life’s basic questions. Is there a God, who is He, what does he want from me?. As I looked at the story of creation,the purpose of life (to be a reflection of God’s glory, we were made in the image of God) and the fall of man I was again struck at God’s mercy in bringing death. Life is a season. When sin entered the world so did the curse. Life is hard, it is often painful and difficult. If it didn’t have an end who could take it. Imagine living eternally seeing wars, poverty, starving children, divorce, selfishness etc.… you would go crazy. Seasons are things of mercy. We were created to reflect God’s glory but because of a broken world, by us, we don’t have the ability to doo it perfectly or eternally. We need seasons.
As we have accepted the season of change, this time of difficult emotions and uncertainty we have seen God’s glory. His purpose in our lives. Over the weekend a mom and one of the girls we had been ministering with came by the church to see if I could help them pick something up and invite us to a birthday party. When I delivered a big wooden wire wheel all the kids came to say hi. It was natural. Then at church yesterday a couple of kids came that come once in a while. Antonio was laughing just playing ping pong with me. Gabrielle a girl who lives by the church and also just shows up to play ping pong listened to me struggle to share the gospel in Portuguese, I pray something got through. These were all interactions with simpler people, all different but all simple.
Farm kids, a lonely girl, a family from the favela. All different but all a confirmation for us that God has called us to the simple places. Yes there are simple people here, yes we have been ministering to people here. Yes God is closing that and leading us to an even simpler area.
He is good. The seasons in our life have purpose. They will all end, good and bad. They will never be wasted.