Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)
Our bodies travel through seasons as we age, taking on various appearances, gaining more wrinkles, becoming more grey, loosing a bit of energy from our youth, and we realize we can liken our physical aging with the different stages and seasons we pass through in our journey in becoming mature Christians.
As we grow, maturing in a depth of spirituality, when our faith becomes a radical choice where everyday decisions are based on spiritual discernment, having obtained a bit of Godly wisdom, where His Word has become infused into our very souls, and our desire in thirsting and hungering to be with Him all the days of our lives, God becomes everything to us.
We eventually come to a place having gained years of an experiential reality in building upon a sound foundation based in spiritual truths of applying God’s methods in living out our lives upon this earth.
Just as our bodies discover a rhythm, so do the seasons of plant life that exist in our world pass through many stages.
On my walk today I noticed the varying stages of plant life, the trees having no leaves, the bushes bearing no flowers, the grass dulled as they are all in a hibernating season, they are all in a season of unseen fruit.
Yet, we know life is still coursing through their roots, traveling deeply underneath the earth, digging into the richness of the waters that sustain them.
It is winter here in the south and my thoughts turned to those seasons in my life where I felt barren, where I lived in the dry desert of not sensing God, where I felt like I too was in a sort of hibernating state, feeling dulled and it was in those times I often moved in a dazed state of being.
It was during these dark days I felt as if I was trudging in heavily laden difficulties, where I did not sense God, where I did not see God, where I did not feel His presence, nor did I feel His hand upon my life.
I never thought I would get through some of these times, or see any normality returning to my life, yet the inner part of me who trusted in His Word, who knew His ability in me, was still there, and the known reality of His Promises, to never leave me, were burned within my soul and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, He still existed, even though I had no visible evidence, He was still with me.
It has been during those times my walk became Faith. It was during those times, I placed my confidence in the experiential knowing that all things are possible to continue moving forward by relying on this internal source of His Word, who is Christ, to breathe His resurrected life into my mortal body, where His Spirit life was my source, where I had to dig deeply into the roots of this same life given waters, to discover Him in the midst of my adversity.
I am sure if we all reflect, we all can relate in remembering those times in our lives where we experienced a barrenness in our Faith. Perhaps you are going through a season this way now.
It was during these barren, dry, hibernating times, my choice to continue in the reality of whose I had become, to walk in the promises written in His Word, and to rely on His Spirit life to enter into my brokenness, allowing Him room to be with me in my suffering, where I looked forwardly expecting this same power that rose Christ from the dead, would be the same power that would bear life in this dry season of my journey in Him.
It was in those darkest of days, in the toughest of times, in those seasons of unseen fruit, where I grew and matured the most in my faith walk.
It was during those days I thought I would never survive, that His Spirit was germinating, birthing new fruits within my inner heart, sprouting in the right time, in the right season of my life, when my faith would become the vehicle giving me a spiritual sight, granting me with His Strength to endure in these dry times.
I knew somehow, that He would bring me through these seasons too. I knew my confidence was in Him to give me ability where I had none of my own.
It was in those seasons of hidden fruit, I found myself having to walk through cold days of a long hibernating winter in my soul.
The psalmist describe some of the most heart wrenching of human emotions, and it was in the midst of those seasons of winter, in the times of intense difficulties, they too found God to be their source of all strength, their source of all fruit, and their source of the often hidden and hibernating spirit who is at work in us, even when we do not sense or feel it.
We, like the psalmists can cry out in thankfulness to our God, who hears us, who responds to us, and who is the source of all we are becoming in times of dryness and in times of plenty. It is He who remains faithful and true to us and to His character, always being the One we can run to, always being the One in whose we are, always being the One who embraces us with His forever love.
I remember this verse of a song I knew in the youth of my faith, where I sang with my spiritual family in the early season of my walk with the Lord, and I share it now, for it rings true to my heart.
“For we know whom we have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day!”
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister
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