Last night we could feel the change of season all around us. Suddenly, with a change in the wind, the air felt cooler, fresher as the hot, humid air of summer was replaced by the approaching Fall. A new season is approaching.
There is also a changing of the air as a new season comes upon our family business. My oldest son has found a new job in preparation for his eventual move out of this province. It is a sad moment for me but a good one for my other children, forcing great opportunities upon them as they rise up to take on his responsibilities. New seasons bring adjustments which we may not want to make but we eventually do because we must.
It is also a change of season for me spiritually. Our walk with Jesus is always a progression and hopefully it is a progression forward. We learn new lessons, gain maturity and move on to the next. We face new challenges, gain new skills and move on to the next. We face small crisis, overcome and move on to the next. But with each victory comes new assurances, new strength and a new level of peace.
I have faced some things in the last few weeks which I was honest enough to face and they almost crushed me. But "almost" does not mean I was crushed. Almost means that the Lord strengthened me in my weakness so I could grow in the experience and become more of what he has called me to be. It is what he promised in his Word. It comes from not quitting, not running away, not hiding in a cave.
I have had a lot of cave experiences in my life, where I have run away out of fear just like Elijah. Just like him, it was fear from the empty threats of the enemy, threats to destroy and kill that drove me to hide. Just like him, God has met me in those caves and asked, "What are you doing here?" It is something I identify with, God asking me why I am in a place that he did not desire me to be in. "What are you doing here and not where your responsibilities would have you be?" The last time this happened I said it would never happen again.
This time I stood my ground. This time I was honest about my weakness. This time I listened to the Lord's examination. I am so thankful for his grace which allowed me to learn from my failures and to mature in my trust. Elijah was encouraged by God in that cave in which he hid, but even seeing the glory of God did not bring him out of his fears. He chose to stay in that same condition even though God met him in that dark place in his life. I praise the Lord he has taught me how to respond to him in times such as these; with absolute trust, adoration and determination.
It is amazing the level of peace that comes when we decide to stand in faith, declaring our trust in Jesus. His peace is always there, never removed, never absent but when we make that decision to abide by faith, there is a deeper revelation and experience of it. The day after the seasons changed there remain hundreds of unanswered questions but there is a peace that says "I know who holds the answers".
As I wrote yesterday, it is a day at a time attitude. He gives me enough grace, strength, wisdom and resources for today. I don't need to be concerned about tomorrow because whatever it holds for me, I know he will provide for it. I am a strong believer that before I was born God knew every day of my life. He knew the decisions I would make. He knew the things I would face. He knew the decision others would make that would impact me. Nothing surprises him. And the beauty of it is that he has laid down his plans for me according to his knowledge. What an awesome God who calls us his children. May the name of Jesus be forever lifted up. No more caves for me.