“They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:20.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1.
“In this life, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus Christ
When I read these words of our Lord Jesus, part of me feels comforted and part of me feels concerned. The truth is, we DO experience trouble and heartache on this earth.
So how can we live a life of faith when we experience the “trouble” Jesus speaks about without becoming bitter and discontent when the hard times come?
I’ve been praying a lot about this over the years, and I feel the Lord wants to teach us to “live in our season,” or simply “bloom where we’re planted.”
Here’s a little object lesson the Lord used to teach our family how to “bloom where we’re planted.” My husband, Randy, grew up in the country and deeply desired a house for us on a little piece of land. In Colorado, the land is super expensive, so we had to wait many years.
Eventually, our miracle did come.
We listed our home, and it sold in two weeks and quickly had a contract on another house with land. Then, we had to move into a rental for a short time while we were in between homes. The ONLY way this plan would work financially was for us to sell some investments which we had saved for 11 years in hopes of one day buying a home.
All of this happened in September 2008, days before the big stock market crash. To make matters worse, my husband and I were so busy scrambling to find a rental that we forgot to sell the stock, and you guessed it, we lost the majority of our money in the crash!
We were devastated and moved into the rental and had to pay several thousand dollars to back out of the contract for our home with land that we could no longer afford.
But you know what? The Lord works in mysterious ways, and we ended up experiencing a season of GREAT joy in that rental. Most of our boxes were still packed, but we hosted parties, read lots of books together, had a great Christmas, and enjoyed a simpler life. Randy and I still reflect on that time and wonder how on earth we got through it without feeling completely disappointed.
I think God filled up our hearts with the joy which didn’t come from our circumstances. When the difficulties began, we started praying Ecclesiastes 5:20 together in our prayer time:
“They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.”
This is what God did; He kept us occupied with gladness of heart.
Difficult circumstances are going to arise in your life, and I would encourage you to ask God to help you see what HE wants to bring into your life at that moment.
In the words of Paul, the secret of being content in any and all circumstances is:
“I can do ALL things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.
During these challenging times, ask God to strengthen you and to help you “bloom where you’re planted.” Make the most out of your life no matter where you find yourself. Open your hands to the Lord and release everything to Him. God can be trusted. Take His yoke upon you and learn from Him, so you can be ready for your calling which is to come.
As you think about today’s study, pray and ask God to reveal any areas of your life which you can’t seem to release to Him. Write them in your journal. Ask God to help you be content in His love and live your life to the fullest in every season with the help of the Holy Spirit.
How can you “Bloom where you’re planted” in your particular circumstances and make lemonade out of lemons! Write down three things you can do this week to make the most out of your situation. Be a good example for your children and involve them in the process!
A note from Deb: Many months after we moved into our rental, a wonderful home went to auction, and we were able to purchase it! This house was better than the one we were going to build, and it was much cheaper. We get to use our house all the time for events as well as hosting year-long interns from a local ministry. God’s plan worked out so much better than ours!
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I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Randy and I have been married for 28 years and we have two grown children, Christie, and Jack, and one answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex. And now I get to be a Gigi to my sweet little grandbaby, Aspen! Yay!