“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the Heaven…He has made everything beautiful in its time…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 5 NIV
There will always be a season for a “fresh start” whether it is a new career, a church community, a job, a friendship or even a ministry. I delight in the freshness of ‘new beginnings’. When we embark on a new path, it is normal for us to expect favorable outcomes right away. In a world of instant gratification, I like for circumstances to unfold quickly in my favor or be resolved immediately.
When I was in High School, I wanted to finish the academic coursework in three years… When I was a young adult, I wanted to marry and move out of the house… When I was in college, I wanted to graduate in less than four years! I tend to rush. I sure do. As I got older, I soon realized there are no shortcuts or healthy quick fixes in life.
Time is of the essence! Be still and know He is in control of our lives. (Psalm 46:10) Let us sit back, relax and be present in the moment.
We may need additional time to select a new career path. It takes a while to get settled in a new community. There is usually a learning curve to master and be proficient at new tasks. In relationships, we need time to learn one another and build trust. If we are serving in ministry, we may need to wait for direction, wisdom, and understanding.
God’s timetable is different than ours! His ways are higher than ours. His timing and plans are perfect. Let us be open-minded and flexible in the midst of our wait. It may take longer than expected!
If we want to be fruitful in life, let us break down our goals, and zero into specific action steps. Just know, God is orchestrating all of our circumstances and He does not miss a beat! Over the course of time, suitable conditions will flourish. God makes everything beautiful in His time. He is in charge of the Harvest.
The more I wait and persevere, the more I trust His plan. In my last wait, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the following;
Let us honor our new beginnings and trust His timing. Do not rush or grow weary. “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” Acts 27:25 NIV
Let us take a leap of Faith and take the next step without anxiety or distress. Do not be afraid. “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!…” Matthew 14:27 NIV
In Christ, we have His wisdom to face challenges along the way. Do not doubt yourself. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
Do not be distracted by external circumstances“…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
Lord, help us be in your presence so we may experience serenity in the midst of our wait.“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the
waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling
up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke
Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And
He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be
still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And
He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no
faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one
another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Now when
evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,and
after getting into a boat, they started to cross the
sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come
to them. The sea began to be stirred up because a strong
wind was blowing.Then, when they had rowed about three or
four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and
they were frightened. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Mark 4: 37-41 (NASB)
In the midst of a storm
or should I say a tsunami, do not forget to look up to Jesus first.
God challenged and refined
me for almost four years although he did not give me more than I could handle
at the time.
Have you ever been choked or paralyzed by a life
storm? Have you ever experienced unbelief? I sure did yet cried out boldly and
loudly, ‘help me with my unbelief, Lord’ periodically. Some of you may be going
thru some challenges today… If you are going thru a storm, how would you
label your storm?
I labeled mine, “The Pit of Darkness.” The Lord was ahead of me working out every detail of my dire circumstances.
“Lord, You light my
lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28 HCSB) Let us never forget He
is our Light in our journey.
A few months after my dad had passed away, I was
promoted to a regional leadership platform. Today, I oversee the quality of
clinical services for close to 1,300 children and adolescents. During this time
of grief and sorrow, I was asked to make daily Clinical decisions on behalf of
these needy children. While I successfully provided adequate coverage, I was
also intertwined with family affairs and daily decision-making processes on
behalf of my dad’s Estate.
My “pit of darkness” was steep and
intense. I will explain next.
I was out of breath at times and my health was compromised on several occasions. My life circumstances definitely got grotesque before the circumstances got any better. I know our Lord will train us for today’s battlefield. His Truth reminds me, “He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (Psalm 18:32 HCSB) The Lord will fight on our behalf, we just need to be still, be quiet, listen and follow His lead (Exodus 14:14).
“Every time my eyes were not on Jesus, I was horrified even paralyzed when facing these stressors,” I thank the Lord for having a supportive husband who challenged me to take the next step in the midst of confusion, chaos, loss, and persecution from those who resisted change. Most importantly, I have a great God who clothed me with inner strength and filled my heart with hope (Psalm 18:39). He makes my way perfect (Psalm 18:32).
“The Lord is My Banner” (Exodus 17:15).
I was overwhelmed and frazzled at the beginning of my leadership role, I experienced a panic attack on one of my business trips. At the end of the first year, I literally experienced heart-attack symptoms such as discomfort in my arm, pain in my chest and shortness of breath. In my second year, I experienced severe vertigo signs. In one occasion, the medical doctor ruled out a brain tumor with an MRI!
I thank God for ‘good health’ today!
The season of grief and sorrow, a fast-paced demanding work environment and family distress contributed to the pit of darkness. Slowly but surely, I began to read His Word daily and started to journal as I dealt with these life stressors.
I knew I had to handle
these life stressors God’s way! It is the only way, my friend.
Once I was convicted, I prayed for His strength, mercies, and inner peace. I begged the Lord to show me ‘how’ and to give me the strength to persevere thru it all.
Three years later, I changed the cultural climate at work, implemented new systems and mobilized community resources for the least restrictive placements, and held strategic, monthly conference calls with the former Commissioner.
At this time, my eyes
are on Jesus and no longer on my circumstances. In Christ, there is victory
without a doubt!
Out of the pit of
darkness, the Bible Reading Journal Series was birthed.
There will be seven
volumes addressing the core spiritual disciplines that involve life
application, confession, repentance, forgiveness, thanksgiving, and prayer. In
the midst of the storm, let us not forget to look up to Jesus, not our circumstances
In my darkest moments, I
felt hatred, unforgiveness, resentment, loneliness, isolation, and depression.
These negative emotions took root in my heart temporarily. When I was convicted
of the darkness in my life, I knew I had to look up to Jesus immediately for His
help, guidance, inner peace and most importantly a new heart!
He was forgiving,
compassionate and faithful.
As soon as I would
inscribe His Word, apply the lesson learned that morning, and submit my prayer
requests, I was able to focus on the next task, experience less distress and
endure the hardships at work.
His grace and faithfulness carried me one day at
And, when I submit all of my prayer requests at sunrise, my heart and mind are in peace and I am much better prepared for today’s battlefield and the unexpected events.
Today, I not only inscribe those Scriptures that speak to me when I’m reading the Bible, but I read these verses in different translations, apply them to my life, and step out in obedience.
As I go thru any of my journals, I have an opportunity to confess to God any sin(s) whether it is unbelief, anger or unforgiveness. I also ask the Lord to help me forgive those who have hurt me throughout the day.
Counting my blessings fills my heart with gratitude.
When I surrender and write out my prayers and praying for others, our Lord comforts me every morning.
I am boldly praising Jesus today! “Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.” (Exodus 15: 21)
In Christ, there is victory so look up in the midst of a life storm. Do not fix your eyes on the circumstances, my friend.
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Bible Reading Journal: Growing Closer to God One Day at a Time.
Bible Reading Journal Series 2019
Volume 1 & 2 & 3 (Available Now on Amazon)
The Bible Reading Journal: Growing Closer to God One Day at a Time.