Tuesday, February 9, 2016
"On Fire": Is It Time to Break Down (or Break Up) to Rebuild?
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven...a time to break down, and a time to build up."---Ecclesiastes 3:1-3(NKJV)
This kind of post...
Isn't for everyone. What I do know, though, is that it's a hug from God for those it does apply to.
Something that I personally find to be fascinating about the humanity of Christians is we'll read Ecclesiastes 3---the chapter that talks about seasons---and then either act shocked or question God when certain seasons come up. Check it:
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace."---Ecclesiastes 3:1-8(NKJV)
Not every season is easy or comfortable or even desired; however, what we can know is every season is purposeful. Simply because the Word says so! This includes when it's time to break down or as the New Living Translation puts it "tear down". Or as I'm being led (Luke 12:12) to add to this message "break up".
This thought was inspired by a personal narrative that I read not too long ago entitled "When God Says It’s Time to Move". Feel free to click on the link to read the piece in its entirety. For now, I want to share the beginning and very last part of it:
Years ago, I had a vision that I was going to marry a Pastor and become a First Lady. However, in the vision I couldn’t see the man’s face only myself in a church. I don’t know how I even came to the fact that I was a First Lady. I just felt it and I rejected it immediately.
During this time my life was a downward spiral. I lost EVERYTHING. I asked God Why? I still didn’t hear Him. I couldn’t feel the Holy Spirit. I cried out “Where are you?
I began to pray. I prayed some more. I cried. I looked at the life of Job. Everything was stripped away. I kept thinking about my hometown and all the violence. I felt like I was being pulled back home but I was resisting the pull. I refused to move back. Even when my mom became very sick, I still resisted. Instead of moving back home I decided to travel back and forth. I thought to myself, “I can commute, it’s only 1 ½ hour drive each way”.
I kept being reminded of Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope". This scripture followed me. I couldn’t understand why. Even though I thought that I could take care of mom and commute, God didn’t want that for me. He sent me right home to live with my mom....
This period of my life was rough. It lasted for five years and the last year was the roughest. I felt broken, I lost it all and I thought I would lose my mind, but it was all for my good. All apart of God’s plan. Hebrew 11:1 teaches us “faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.” I had to have faith.
So, what happened in the middle of the story? Again, click on the link for the details but the gist is Kicole met her husband and got married! When I think about how she talks about how hard the season prior to that was for her, one verse that immediately came to mind was "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Psalm 126:5-NKJV) It's a promise that doesn't get talked about much, but take it from me, it sure does come in handy sometimes!
If you're in a season of your life right now where you're not sure what is going on, nothing really makes sense and the way you thought things were going to be is not anything like it actually is---if it literally feels like things are breaking down for you or you've recently gone through a break up, take heart. *Nothing happens* without God's knowledge and more than that, *his permission*. Hebrews 13:5 tells us that God will never leave or forsake us and this woman's testimony shows that sometimes the "demolition jobs" are the very ones that help to shape our lives in the best way possible!
Moving but not wanting to...
The stripping away...
IT ALL LED KICOLE TO SOME REAL BLESSINGS.
Remember, the Word says this:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones."---Proverbs 3:5-8(NKJV)
It doesn't say to trust in God *and* try to figure out what's going on. It says the opposite: to NOT lean on your own understanding. Only God's level of understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5). *Ours is not*. When we're tempted (I Corinthians 10:13) to worry (Matthew 6:25-34), we're told what to do. We're told to PRAY (Philippians 4:6-7). And in our prayers, by acknowledging God's sovereignty (Psalm 18) and absolute flawlessness (Deuteronomy 32:4), there is a peace that comes because we know that *no matter what the season* (which is a bit different from a consequence; sometimes we put our own selves in "break downs" due to our disobedience), it's a "dot" that's connecting us to a FAR BIGGER AND GREATER PICTURE!
Yeah, things might seem bleak now...
But remember what Ecclesiastes 3:2-3 tells us.
There's a time to break down AND a time to build up.
Trust in God.
Your "up season" is coming!