Last week I was chatting with someone and we were sharing our stories of work experience and what had led us to our current positions. We are both in similar roles at our jobs and I was recounting some experiences I had been through that she is currently walking through. She was calling to pick my brain but I ended up being reminded of a crucial fact that applies in every season.
I was explaining to her that years ago when I was only three months into a new job in ministry, I wanted desperately to give up. I told of her how I felt inadequate, insecure and completely sure God had made a mistake…I wanted to quit! But I didn’t. I pressed in and ended up growing more and experiencing more than I could have ever thought, dreamt or imagined. And then I said to her, “Sometimes when you enter a new season God has to prune some things both in you and the people around you in order for you to fit fully into the place God has you for that season.” What?? Where did that come from? Well I’m certain it was straight from the Lord and not only for her but a reminder for me.
As we enter into new seasons, things look and feel very different. Adjusting to a new normal isn’t easy and the temptation to give up and return to what’s normal looms over us. Like the Israelites who, on their way to the promised land, debated if they would be better off going back to Egypt. Why? Because even though Egypt was terrible, it was comfortable…they had become accustomed to the way they were treated and what to expect. Now, they were having to exercise their faith and be stretched beyond what was comfortable, it was difficult. But, had they returned to Egypt, they would have missed out on the fullness of what God had for them.
In the same way, if we revert to what is comfortable, safe and predictable then we miss out on the growth and expansion God wants to do in our lives. Growing can be painful and requires a level of obedience and surrender that is challenging at best. But, on the other side of it, we come out better, stronger and more equipped to do what God has laid before us to do. Pruning…trimming back things that aren’t fruitful and allowing for new things to be birthed. It has to happen in nature and it has to happen within us in order for healthy growth to occur.
Healthy things grow and as they do, their appearance changes. If we want to be healthy parents, friends, leaders, employees, etc., then we must allow God to do His work within us, pruning the things that need to be and planting seeds to be nurtured. New seasons represent new life, new growth and new experiences…all of which build on the previous seasons to prepare us for what’s ahead. Be encouraged today, even in your difficulties, that God is at work…pruning and shaping you for what He has planned for you.
Have a blessed day!