Do y'all know the song Don't Blink by Kenny Chesney? That's about describe this year because hello, November! This year has literally been the blink of an eye.
It's quick and easy to blink, we do it unconsciously, without even thinking about it, but the lessons we learn in the blink of an eye aren't always quick or easy, usually it's neither, as much as we'd like it to be at least one or the other.
We were finishing up harvest last week and I was walking around the field looking for corn while I was waiting for dad to empty into the auger wagon. It was a cloudy, dreary day, and the field was losing it's lively colors, so when I found a couple of pieces, their color contrasted so brightly to my surroundings.
It got me thinking about harvest, about this year and how relatable harvest is to our very own lives. We plant the seeds, they grow and then we harvest.
However, the process is not that simple.
There must be work done to the field after the harvest in the fall and again before the planting in the spring. Once the seeds are in the ground, they don't just sprout up over night. They must take root. Receive nutrients, sunlight, rain. It takes time for them to grow, it takes time for the harvest to arrive.
I'm not sure what sort of season you're in right now, but we all go through what I like to call the planting season. It's the description I've termed the year of 2018 for myself, and maybe you're in one of those right now.
What in the world do you mean by planting season?
When the seed is planted, it's buried. It's dark, probably a little cold, maybe the seed doesn't know what is going on or what it will become.
Maybe you're in a season of uncertainty, big changes, rejection, loss, job changes or struggles, family issues, you name it.
It might not be the easiest, probably isn't the most enjoyable and you might not know what in the world is going to come next, but coming to the end of a year that has been significantly filled with more planting than anything, can I share some encouragement with you?
It stinks. I won't lie to you and say oh you'll be fine, just suck it up and keep going. It's not easy going through tough things, things you didn't see coming, things you would've never thought in a million years would happen, but when you feel like you're in the dark, there's a source of light that never leaves you or forsakes you.
There was a good chunk of time where I wasn't sleeping well, I'd wake up every single night at about 2AM and wouldn't be able to fall back asleep. My mind would fill with thoughts of everything going on, and it'd keep me up for hours.
Finally, after I'd had enough of the restless nights, groggy mornings, and blah days, instead of focusing on everything that was keeping me awake, I started praying and turning my thoughts to Jesus rather than the other things. He became my source of light in the dark and it lit up my path in ways that I wouldn't have ever dreamed.
2 Corinthians 10:15.. "and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Worry, fear, and doubt are not from the Lord.
What was keeping me up? Exactly that.
When I surrendered it all to Jesus and my thoughts captive to Him, my thoughts became His thoughts. When instead of allowing it all to stress me out, I leaned solely on Him, and when I say solely, I was getting texts from some of my friends because they literally thought I fell off the face of the Earth (sorry, guys- it was for good reasons!) :)
I grew in knowledge of His character and who He is, His promises, His truths, what do you think happened? An overwhelming sense of peace, hope, and my favorite, joy. Not to say it happened overnight, but day by day, the roots started growing deeper, and there are days when I just feel like I could probably burst with joy.
You see, when I held up that piece of corn in my hand and saw how bright it was, I realized the same is true of us.
The things we go through in life aren't meant to discourage or defeat us. Sometimes it takes a good planting to truly establish a foundation that will survive whatever this life brings. We're planted for a season, and then like the corn, we're a source of brightness to those we cross paths.
If you're feeling planted right now, cling to His promises. He sees you, He knows every tear, every cry, every prayer in your heart, and He hears you.
Psalm 119: starting with verse 105:
By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back
from living by your righteous order.
Everything’s falling apart on me, God;
put me together again with your Word.
It doesn't say that He will light up the entire path right away, but be a beam of light. Take one step at a time, and He will guide you through it. People will come and go in your life, priorities will change, life will fall apart and fall back together, and just as the seasons change, so do we through it all.
At the beginning of the year, I thought I had a good relationship with the Lord. Looking back, that was nothing but a very small seed compared to now, and I pray that in a few months, I'll look back to this moment and be able to say that my relationship with Him now is nothing compared to what is coming.
It's amazing to look back and see God's hand all over things that you can't see when you're actually going through it, but can I promise you one thing? It's going to be okay, and it's going to turn out better than you can even imagine. Look at this season as your growing season- a time of being molded, shaped, built, strengthened, and fulfilled.
The good thing is, the dark doesn't last forever, and seeds need darkness and light to grow, as well as rain. It might not happen in the blink of an eye, but the thing that sprouts up from the dirt after all of those months of rain, growth, and nutrients? A bright yellow piece of corn.
As the corn grows, so will you and I, and as the yellow shines bright in contrast to the dreary day, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
You're a bright yellow piece of corn that this world needs, and you're so loved by the Father.
As the squirrels love to see that corn waiting on a stand for them, you're loved infinitely more by a Father that died just to know you.