The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes that life is made up of seasons:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
What season do you find yourself in now?
What season are you looking forward to? I wanted to write this article to encourage you to be present in the season that you are in and allow God to use you today. Today is all we have and all we are guaranteed. Often, though, we spend our time waiting for the next thing; we put our lives on pause until: we finish college, find a spouse, have a child, climb the career ladder, gain more financial security or whatever it is you are waiting for.
A French philosopher called Blaise Pascal, who lived in the 1600s, wrote the following quote:
“Let each of us examine his thoughts; he will find them wholly concerned with the past or the future. We almost never think of the present, and if we do think of it, it is only to see what light it throws on our plans for the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means, the future alone our end. Thus we never actually live, but hope to live, and since we are always planning how to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so.” – Blaise Pascal.
This quote is like a slap in the face to me. I shudder to think that I might be always waiting to live my life and never actually living it. Pascal goes on to suggest that the reason we only focus on the past or the future is to escape our present, as our present is too unsatisfying to think about. I understand this sentiment. I am just emerging from a season of having three tiny babies all at once.
I had my first son in 2014, and becoming a mum was the biggest emotional explosion of my life. I loved my son so much, but I was exhausted and overwhelmed; and I found the newborn season hard. Then, when he was only nine months old, I found out I was pregnant again, this time with twins. Having three tiny babies was more than I thought I could cope with. Sleep was a thing of the past; silence was a thing of the past. The present was bone painful exhaustion, the almost constant sound of a baby crying, and the absolute knowledge that I was inadequate for the task, simply because I didn’t have enough arms to comfort all three of my babies in a way that was good enough for them at the same time. Honestly, I shudder to remember the exhaustion of those days.
But it was a season. My oldest son, Levi, is four now, and my twins, Emmanuel and Gracie, are almost three; and life is so much easier. My house is filled more often with laughter than crying (although there is still some crying). And yes, there is no doubt this season feels better than the one where they were all tiny babies, but the point is, I could not have gotten here if I had not lived through that newborn season. God wants to work in us and use us in every season of our lives.
So, take your life off pause!
Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24). Offer up the season you’re living in to the Lord and see Him move in you and through you this very day.
I think we each have in our minds an “end-game.” That thing that when we get it, we will finally be happy. Then we can finally post it on social media and move on with our lives. What is your end game? A degree? A baby? A spouse? A missionary posting? A desired job? All of these things are good, but they are not your “end-game;” however, you will only discover that when you finally get it.
The reason for this is that purpose and happiness are not found in a change of situation, no, they are found in Jesus Christ.
Married or single, in a loud, busy life or a quiet and solitary one, the only one who is always present and always faithful and who never lets us down is Jesus.
Remember, Jesus said He came to give us life abundant (John 10:10).
That “life abundant” for you is found in Jesus today. Not in some future nebulous dream, but today, now, as your breath goes in and out, as you read these words, Jesus is present in the present. Speak to Him, commit this day and this season to Him and see what great things He does during a season of your life that you were tempted to just write off. God is with you, and He is moving. Be used by God today; this is the one thing we all have in common, no matter what season we find ourselves in, no matter what age you are or what situation you find yourself in; God is willing to use you and desires to use you.
Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God today; He cares for you and has a plan for you in this season. Open your heart to see God working in your life today and become excited about what God is doing in your present season. The past is gone; the future is not guaranteed. All we have is the present, so let’s offer each day to the Lord and live each moment of our life in the fullness that Jesus won for us.