Welcome to Day 11 of the 40-day countdown to Easter 2019! Seasons. Don't lose hope during this season of your life. In 2006, the Japanese Snowbell tree that you see in the photo was a 3-foot stem propped up by a string on each side tied to a stick that was pivoted in the ground to hold it up. The young tree did not have the capacity to hold itself up. But the young snowbell remained in the ground that provided the nutrients that it needed to become strong. The snowbell tree has also been pruned several times so that it could continue to grow more beautiful branches.
Over the years, this Japanese Snowbell tree has gone through seasons of change to include winter, spring, summer, and fall. This Japanese Snowbell has withstood droughts, storms, rain, sleet, and snow. Each season brought challenges but the tree withstood the challenges because it remained planted in the solid ground. We must remain planted to withstand the seasons in our lives.
You may feel today that you're not making progress. You may feel stagnated. But keep in mind as you remain attached, planted, rooted, to the True Vine, you are growing. You are producing fruit. The things that you're going through or only seasons that will change. Every season has a beginning and an end. This tough season that you're going through right now, has an end. Hold on. Remain attached to the True Vine and you will prosper. You will bloom just like this beautiful Japanese Snowbell tree.
Remember, when you are attached to the True Vine, you have support. You have a strong root system. You will get the nutrients and support needed to continue to grow during cold seasons, mild seasons, hot seasons, and dry seasons. Each season comes with elements, some more or less than others, that causes you to get tougher, wiser, and stronger.
When the Japanese Snowbell is in full bloom, it releases a beautiful fragrance in the atmosphere. The Snowbell provides shade on sunny days. It gives the birds a place to rest and sing. Just as the seasons don't come to tear down the Japanese Snowbell tree, they don't come to tear you down either. Seasons come to remove things in your life that are no longer needed and prepare you for the next season. Seasons come to build you up. Seasons come to make you stronger. Seasons come so that you be can become more like the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In every season, you have something to give.
1. When your life is blossoming like the Japanese Snowbell, give out of your abundance.
2. When your life intensifies, pray and intercede for others. Share the warmth of a smile and encouraging words to brighten someone's day.
3. When your life is filled with rain, know that God is pouring liquid sunshine over your life to sustain you for the next season.
4. When your life seems dry and cold like a winter day, be reminded that God is your provider. He will sustain you during the winter season. God is giving you rest during the winter season. Rest is needed so that you can leap forward into a new season re-energized.
Don't try to push in a season when God wants you to rest. Learn to enjoy every season of your life because God has a purpose and a plan for each season.
I’ll leave you with a quote by Shannon L. Alder, “God whispered, "You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn't you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.”
SCRIPTURAL READING FOR PRAYER & MEDITATION
~Inspiring hope & seasoning faith, Dr. Regina Daigre, Visionary Leader, 2nd Lead Pastor