Being a new Dad, there are loads of experiences that me and my wife Jen are experiencing for the first time. Obviously Jen is a little bit more on the receiving end than me but hopefully you’ll get the picture as I go on.
We try and get Finley into as much of a routine as possible but how many of you know that this is very difficult when a baby is so young. We get him up, give him his breakfast, change his nappy, put fresh clothes on him… realise he’s been to the toilet almost instantly and while we’re changing him he wees on his fresh clothes… He then starts crying to be fed again. The season seems to be never ending because we’re right in the middle of it.
My life at the minute is in a season of sleeping less than I ever thought possible and changing dirty nappies. Nothing I can do will stop the poop!
You might be facing a similar feeling of a cycle that you cannot see the end of. You might be struggling with a teenager that is pushing the boundaries and they are continually pushing your buttons. You might be in debt and as soon as you seem to make headway, you are faced with a huge bill for something out of the blue. The cycle goes on.
At the office, my desk overlooks the garden and over the years I’ve been able to see the seasons come and go from the luxury of my office chair. I’ve purely been a spectator. There is nothing that I could have done to have impacted the changing of those seasons whatsoever. I couldn’t have gone outside (you’ll be delighted to hear) and done a special dance that would have made winter move on and the sun come out to play. It doesn’t work like that – we know this.
It’s the same for you. You cannot stop the bills from coming. You cannot stop the hormones of a teenager (many wish that we could!). The punches seem to keep coming.
It is very difficult to think when you’re up to your neck in the poop of life, that anything will be any different. Will the season ever really pass?
Pastor David likes to talk about the natural world being a reflection of what happens in the spiritual world. What I mean is that, when something takes place naturally it makes sense to think that there is a spiritual parallel that we can draw from the experience or event.
It’s exactly the same with our seasons, if we could sit for a whole year, looking out of the window we would see all manner of things take place.
We would see the rain come in a few different ways, big old fat rain, stinging rain and spitting drizzle that gets underneath the umbrella. We would see the sun coming in through the window; we would see the light and feel the heat of it on our faces. We can watch the wind break trees or bend them like a catapult. We watch the leaves come and the flowers burst through the ground and we watch them fall and return to the ground. The common denominator is that even though we don’t know when the shift will take place, we know it will come because it’s part of the natural order of the way things work.
Different things, over time have influenced the passing of both the natural seasons and the spiritual seasons. Sometimes it’s true to say that we are our own worst enemy and we are plunged into a season of difficulty or darkness because of sin or an unfortunate choice that we’ve made. If this is the case, I encourage you to repent and put yourself right with God as quickly as possible. Do whatever you need to put the most important relationship right.
It’s possible though that your difficult season has come about through no fault of our own – it’s then that we have to learn to roll with the punches of life.
This expression ‘rolling with the punches’ comes from boxing, from the literal meaning roll with the punches (step back or to one side as you are being hit), so that you do not receive the full force of the attack.
We know that the Bible talks about spiritual armour (Ephesians 6) and considering there is no armour for the back of you we could deduce that running away is not an option. The Bible also says that the weapons we fight with are not worldly, but mighty, to pull down strongholds. These spiritual weapons you have at your disposal are mighty and powerful to change things not only in your life, but also in the lives of others.
We also know that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour us and to steal and take whatever we will allow him to take. Jesus came that we might have life and enjoy it to its fullness (John 10:10).
I came across this verse recently. Isaiah 28:16 (NIV) says:
‘See I lay a cornerstone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation. The one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.’
Today, maybe you need to be like a boxer. Fists up, eyes ahead, feet sure and body alert to what is coming your way. You may have received a few hits but we don’t have to fall if we keep our eyes fixed on who Jesus is and what He is able to do. But, the beautiful thing is that if you find yourself on the mat, there’s a new start for you as you look to God for His help.
What an awesome God we have, whatever our state of mind, body or soul, He is able to help us.