Seasons of the Heart

Hi everyone, Rob here.

At the moment we are transitioning from autumn to winter in the southern hemisphere and from spring to summer in the northern. For us the leaves aren’t just changing colour but falling. The wind is a little cooler. An extra blanket is on the bed. Our lives have bench-560435_640different seasons also. In fact the only consistent thing about life is that it keeps changing! Children grow up, bodies give up and work keeps getting a shake up. But it’s not only our external worlds that keep changing; our internal worlds do too. There are seasons of life but there are also seasons of the heart.

God is always inviting us to know him more, love him more and walk with him more closely. This invitation remains constant even as our external worlds change. Just as friendships and family relationships change over time so does our relationship with God. Part of this is growth and maturity and part of it is what happens as we ask different questions of God as we go through the ups and downs of life. For example when we journey through things like job losses, miscarriages, illness and loved ones dying we look at life differently. It becomes more scary and we feel more fragile. As we take that to God our relationship with him shifts from knowing about him and believing all the right things to a desperate need to feel his love and assurance with us. As we grow we also come to appreciate beauty, rest and the miracle of loving and being loved. As we take that to God our love for him shifts from our heads to our hearts in a whole new way.

There are also what I call ‘mini-seasons’ of the heart. The flame often goes dull and at other times is burning brightly. There are times when all you see is the grief and pain of the world and other times when you see so much goodness and love you want to start a dance party for the ages. This is why it’s so important to remember that our hearts have been made new and good through the work of Christ. If we doubted the goodness of our hearts we could so easily write off these ‘mini-seasons’ as evidence of our fickleness and thus ignore the fresh invitation being offered through them.

I’m going through a ‘mini-season’ of finding work hard. The church is in good heart, people are being reached, young leaders are coming through and there is much to be joyous about so why is work hard? On the evidence it should be a joy and often it is. But this isn’t about the external; it’s about the heart. It’s about God shifting some things inside of me to prepare me for the next phase of my life. I have a Masters degree to finish. I have a desire to reach more people with the radical message of the Father’s love. I have a desire to raise up men’s ministry in our church to a level where it makes a real impact. I have children to raise, a wife to love, a church to serve, a local school to help and a growing sphere of influence that God needs to prepare me for. As I walk with God through the questions being raised, the warfare that surfaces and the deepest desires of my heart that are emerging I do so in the knowledge that I am loved, I am a son and I have a vital role to play in God’s kingdom. The season will soon be replaced by a new one but the lessons are for life. If I trust God through this time there will be fruit that will last.

This is what this ‘mini-season’ is all about for me. What about you? What is the season you are walking through right now? Is external change triggering some deep questions and internal shifting? Are you feeling unsettled? Peaceful? Lost? Do you trust God and your heart enough to be able to rest in the Father’s love as you journey through it? In whatever season you are in; whether it be turbulent or peaceful, may you grow, may you rest in God’s love and may you produce fruit for his kingdom that will last into eternity.

Blessings.

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