Saturday, April 28, 2012

Finish the race

Different times and seasons come into our lives and they all have unique purposes. I have been going through a season of rest and healing over the past 9 months or so. Due to several prophetic words I have had recently I believe that the end of this time of healing is coming and I will soon be ready to launch into a whole new season where I will be blessed like I've never been before.

 Needless to say it is difficult not to get excited when you hear about this kind of thing. However, as much as I want that blessing to come into my life, I am aware of the danger that it could pose by coming into my life too soon. James 1 vs 4 says that "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything." It seems to me as human beings that when we face difficulty in our lives, our default response is to try and get out of them as quickly as possible. However, when we do this, all we are really doing is cheating ourselves of getting the most out of our blessings once they do actually arrive.

Don't get me wrong - there are times when we need to flee from things that are going wrong in our lives but if you are a Christian such as myself, most of the difficulties I have faced (especially the one I am facing at the moment due to being out of work) have been ordained directly by God Himself. It has been deeply frustrating and I have often tried to get myself out of this season by looking for a job but every time the door has slammed shut back in my face. Once I had the realization of what would happen to me if I walked out of this time too early - even if I walked into an awesome job, what I am still working through within myself would have corrupted the environment and I'd have ended up hating it.

I have learned that if I am to truly get over the mountains I have had placed before me throughout my life, I need to learn to fully embrace and learn to become content in the season that I am in right now - even if it's not ideal. The apostle Paul spoke on this brilliantly in Philippians 4:12 - "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." The key to this contentment he speaks of is found within himself and not in his circumstances. Paul learned to walk through the darkness in his own life with God and embracing God's purposes in the trials he faced so that he would be able to find peace and contentment regardless of what was happening around him.

I am still learning this process as my natural thinking immediately says to go and run out there and get myself out of this situation. But I have made a lot of progress and I will continue to make progress in this area. I realize that I cannot rush this season and that if I am to be able to build a house, I must let the foundations be completely set in place beforehand or I will lose the blessings that I have.

I have found that when I would take something for myself that I wasn't ready for in the past - such as a relationship or a job or something like that - I wouldn't be able to enjoy it as much because the groundwork of peace and healing in my life had not yet been fully set in place by that point which made it a short period of time before things turned sour. So to really appreciate the future and prepare for it properly - I needed to learn to fully embrace the present, regardless of how hard it was.

So if, like me, your circumstances are not that great at the moment - don't try and rush out of them. Finish the race and persevere and let the groundwork be built into your life. You'll thank yourself in the future that you took the time to do this now. Take care.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Change - don't resist it

I thought this was an appropriate subject to blog about seeing as I have some rather large changes heading my way. I am about to move into a totally new and different living environment and I am on the brink of becoming a professional, self published author which means I will be responsible for sales and marketing as well as distribution and purchase orders for my book.

I know that this change is God ordained and I know that it is the right thing for me right now. My book was something I felt inspired by God to write so I know it was the right thing to do and I believe I've got it to the best possible standard I could. Where it's going to lead, I have no idea. But that's ok.

As I've often said throughout the years, everything changes and as soon as you get used to the change, everything changes again. Life moved pretty slowly before I became a Christian because I couldn't cope with it being moved any faster. After I became a Christian, change became quite regular, often rather drastic and sometimes rather sudden and violent. But it was all good for me and helped me to learn to come out of my shell and become a stronger, more well-balanced person.

I was frightened of change at first but I realized my fear of change was regarding what the change would surface in me and what I would have to face inside myself if things changed. If I had chosen to resist the change and stay where I was, I would probably still be living with my parents, too scared to do anything else, instead of living in Taupo by faith to a large degree and publishing my own book.

It is always scary to let go of what we know because it means facing the unknown and therefore facing our own hearts as the unknown has an uncanny way of bringing our insecurities to the surface. However, this is not the time to run from them but to face them. Some of the best times of growing as a person have come through some of the most severe changes I have faced over the years, such as being forced to resign from work as I was recently.

Although life may be safer when it's perfectly planned out and well organized and maintained, sticking with what we know and refusing to embrace change can be unhelpful regarding personal growth in our lives. Sometimes God wants us to let go of something we've held dear for a long time not because He wants to just take it from us, but He wants to prepare us for something much better than what we had. It was very hard for me to let go of my job in Auckland as I'd just got into a rhythm with it and I was earning really good money. At first glance, moving to Taupo didn't look like a great idea but now that I've been here for 3 years I am amazed at the depth of the change inside myself as a result.

Don't fear the changes that God is trying to bring into your life. He knows better than you do and even if the changes He is bringing look scary and might not initially appear to be ideal, that's when you've got to trust Him and hang in there and you will see good fruit eventually.