By: David Stewart
The third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes talks about seasons. It speaks of having a time for everything, or different season people walk through. I am from North Carolina and familiar with different seasons. I know the difference that a summer at the beach there brings compared to a cold winter that the mountains offer. Seasons also bring expectations of new beginnings and relief from an old one that we are coming out of. A new job could be full of excitement and expectations while leaving an old one could be a sigh of relief from old requirements there. I guess about seven years ago I took the steps of a new season that eventually led me here. This season was one I never expected though or ever prepared for.
Have you ever stood in the middle of a corn field in the late evening rain yelling at God? I have. I was just coming out of a fifteen-year run as a single parent and wondering why I had to endure such a season. I thought about all the biblical people I had read about and heard about all those years in church and vacation Bible schools I attended growing up. I thought about how God had parted a sea for Moses, or how God had stopped the sun from moving for Joshua. I thought about how Jesus had calmed a storm for his friends and even helped Peter walk on water.
Then I wondered why the same Jesus, or the same God, had allowed me to go through so many trying times and challenges as a single parent for all those years. Why did I have to work three jobs at one time during a season when God provided free food every morning for groups of people (Israelites) in the Bible. Then I wondered why Bible stories just seemed like history lessons and how you did not hear of such things taking place now. At that moment I screamed in a field, in the rain, “If the Bible is real then I want my own Bible Story!”
A person could say that the approach or tactic I seemed to use there could be harsh or full of anger, I would agree. I would also direct that same person to read the book of Psalms and how King David cried out to God when he was sad, mad, lonely, and angry. In that moment I could relate to the frustrations that King David must have felt in his seasons with God because I felt the same ones. God can handle our moments of weakness and confusions; it may be those moments are the ones when we are truly seeking him as we should. I know for me, it was that moment, that I can honestly say began to change my life.
A few weeks after that, I ended up selling everything I owned to complete strangers, quitting my job of seven years, leaving my family and friends in North Carolina, moving to Florida in a free car, all in a one-month time frame. I had no plans to do this, no idea why I was doing this, or any idea how all this was supposed to work, but I did it. It may sound crazy, but it also sounds like the beginning of a modern-day Bible story.
The next three years that I would stay in Florida consisted of some amazing things. I ended up living with a coworker of a well-known famous pastor for a year. I ended up starting the beginning of a seven-year job with the Salvation Army. I ended up graduating from a three-year ministry school in Tampa. I ended up getting married to one of those students and about to celebrate a six-year anniversary date of that marriage.
After that, I ended up moving to South Carolina and spending three years there as well. While there, I started and run a nonprofit mission home for two years helping people with addictions and poverty. I do not say all this to build up resume or recognition, I say all this to show how surrendering to God can do more for your life than you could do with forty years of efforts on your own. The Bible says it best in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!
A new season must come for you, so the old season can know its time is up. Summer must come, so the winter knows when to give up its hold on the earth. God must enter, so the enemy knows he must leave. Light shines to expose the darkness! You may be in a season that leaves you with more questions than answers. I found myself in that same season seven years ago and can tell you there is one way to make a quick exit from it.
King David knew it, and this David found it out as well…. Get alone with God, cry, scream, ask hard questions, get desperate for the Lord! You can read about God acting in the lives of biblical heroes from thousands and thousands of years ago and become inspired. But you can also find that same God, ask him to come into your life now, and change the modern-day world you live in. You can have your own modern day bible story as well and change your season! Just maybe, the sun will stand still for you as well. (Joshua 10:13) Be Blessed Friends!