December 29, 2007

There is a season for everything under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I have just finished reading My Seventh Monsoon by Naomi Reed. It’s the story of an Australian woman as her family minister in Nepal.

I always enjoy reading books about missionaries, but this one is different. Naomi looks at her life as a series of ‘seasons’. Seasons in the sense that there are different periods of life, each which have their own purpose – their own joys and trials. Each season must be completed before another can begin, each season leads into another and each season has it's own purpose. Each season is part of the journey God has placed us on, each season is the next step to where He wants us to be at the end. We must learn to say good bye to the joys of one season when a new one comes along; and we can face trials knowing that they are only for a season.
Just as we can not have the beauty of spring without first having the frost and winds of winter; we can also make it through the heat of summer - knowing that autumn is just around the corner.

It is a reminder to me to enjoy this season I am in now. A reminder to not spend this ‘season’ looking backwards or to spend it looking ahead constantly with longing for a new season, wishing this one away. God has put me here, now, in this season, for a reason. Whether it is to learn the things He wants to teach me, or to experience the joys He sends my way.

As I look at what this season has in store for me I see many challenges. I see having to move twice in the next six months; I see more than two years of full time study; I see a continual battle with the darkness inside me; I see a period of time watching dear friends welcome in new little lives or beginning married life while I sit with empty arms and a longing heart – neither which will not change anytime soon.

And yet, if I stop and think I can see many blessings I can enjoy in this season which may not be possible in other seasons. I am able to spend time just ‘being’ with people; I can read and indulge my love of craft; I am learning so much about my Lord and also in my childhood studies; I can go and enjoy the ‘new little lives’ and be a blessing to their mothers.
I can wait on God and see what it is he wants me to learn in anticipation for the next season – what ever it will bring.

I can not know what God has prepared for me, what each season of my life will bring. I can only live where He has put me here, now. I do not write my story, I only record it in retrospect and marvel at the amazing things He has done.
(Photo courtesy of porah at stock.xchng)


Rachael said...

Hi Erin,
I also really enjoyed reading My Seventh Monsoon. I really enjoyed it because of the similarities between her situation and my own; the difficulties that come from living in a totally different culture, the feelings of total inadequacy. She helped me to understand my own feelings with a lot more clarity. It is helpful to think of life in terms of seasons; only some last longer than others; but all under the hand of the one who made us and loves us.

Erin said...

It is encouraging to realise that others struggle as much as we do when God places us in another culture.
(I think thats why I enjoy reading missionary stories so much, becasue it reminds me of my childhood.)