Here recently, I flew to California and sat between two of my good friends pretty much looking out the window the whole time. I couldn’t get enough of the beauty we were passing over. Not only did I feel small in comparison to this big world, but I started to gain a deeper understanding of just how much God is in control.
When I looked out the window, I could see my little city, getting smaller and smaller as we took off into the air. Just like any other plane ride, the details of the city started to fade away and all I saw were big patches of green. Sooner or later, we made our way to the correct altitude, and the clouds over came the scenery, but I was just as mesmerized with being up in the midst of the clouds. A few hours passed and so did the clouds as we made our way to the Grand Canyon. From the sky it looked absolutely beautiful, so I can’t imagine what it would look like up close. But it didn’t take much longer for us to pass through the desert where there wasn’t much green happening, but more brown. And before I knew it, the mountains of California were covered with snow—then suddenly there was the Pacific Ocean. I could see it.
Now I know, there’s some of you out there who know good and well what you see when you look out the window of an airplane, and I’ll be honest, I’ve seen it before; but not quite like I saw it this go around.
This time I saw different places, different states, different seasons ALL existing at the exact same time.
Go with me here for a second; this means while some people are wearing swimsuits, some are clothed head to toe with all the winter wear. Or what about those who are enjoying a picnic on a nice warm day, and others are bundled up inside drinking a hot cup of coffee watching the snow fall. Or the plants that are just beginning to bloom, while other places can’t even grow plants because it’s so dry. And yet, no matter what’s going on in all these different seasons and places, they are all happening simultaneously.
The same is true with our lives. When someone is going through a horrible and unexpected circumstance, someone else may be experiencing tremendous amounts of celebration and joy. In the midst of deep sorrow, deep joy happens at the exact same time!
And yet, God is overseeing it all.
He sees the plants blooming and the ones that can’t grow.
He sees the pain and suffering alongside the blessing and celebration.
He sees the snow while seeing the sun.
He sees the wilderness and the promise land.
No matter the season, God is there and He is not surprised by anything at any moment. God is with you in your place, in your season of life, in your circumstance; He is there.
When I looked out the window on the flight to California, what I saw was not just different seasons, but different seasons existing at the same time while God is in control over it all.
No matter what season of life you have been in, are currently in, or will be in the future; you can rest knowing God is there and in control–so you don’t have to be.
Right now, if you’re walking through a season of wilderness, let me encourage you that God sees you and He hears you. He sees the hardships you’re walking through and as much as you may feel forgotten, I promise you God remembers. I’m not just saying this from someone who has read it in Scripture, but as someone who has walked the wilderness and I’ve seen God’s deliverance. Your wilderness, is wilderness. It’s hard and it may be messy. It may be coming as a surprise to you, but I know and believe there is purpose in the midst of the wilderness. You may not know the answers you are searching for until days, months, or years later; but God is working it for your good–that’s a promise. So as you walk through this wilderness, lean in. Lean in real tight to God. Get to know who He is. Instead of worrying and complaining, rest in God’s never-changing character. As hard as it may be, thank Him for the wilderness. He stays the same. He does not change. He does not lie. He loves you. He cares for you.
Right now, if you’re walking through a season of celebration, let me encourage you to remember where the celebration is coming from. Remember the one who brings the blessing in your life. Talk to Him. Tell Him how excited you are and how great things are. Thank Him for the celebration He has given you. Celebrate His mercy and grace towards you. Celebrate Him being with you in the midst of the blessing. Celebrate how much He loves and cares about you. Praise Him for this season. But don’t forget your need for Him. You may be tempted in this season of blessing to think you can do it all on your own, but let me remind you that you can’t. Jesus said He couldn’t do anything without the Father, so you can’t do it without God either. Be desperate for God. Even when things are going great, you still need Him every step of the way. Continue to trust and rest in Him.
FOR EVERY SEASON
No matter what you’re going through, God is in control. The truth of God’s character remains the same no matter the situation, season, or circumstance. He sees you and knows you better than you even think you know yourself. Trust Him–His ways are far better than anything you could ever imagine.
I need you to know I’m still learning this. I’m learning how to trust God’s sovereignty in the midst of the wilderness and the celebration. But I can tell you, when I rest in God being in control of everything, it takes away any anxiety and is replaced with unexplainable peace. I’ve learned the only way I can make it through the changing seasons of life is by trusting God’s plan for me. To this day (and I’m confident my future will be the same way), God has not failed me–and I know He won’t fail you!
So as we journey through life, let’s remember these truths:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
For I the Lord do not change.
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lordyour God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Be still and know that I am God.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.