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June 2, 2016, 12:00 PM

Seasons of Strength


By Haley MaKenna Hardman

 

 

Seasons. We all experience them, and we all see them changing. We watch the leaves fall in autumn, and then watch them come back and blossom in the spring. We know when the rains will come, and when they will cease. We feel the cold and we feel the heat. But, in all of this, I’m not just writing of the physical seasons that we can all see, I’m writing of the seasons that maybe no one knows we’re going through- the ones that we can’t see with the naked eye. Maybe even the ones that we, ourselves, don’t know we’re going through until they’re over. I’m writing of the seasons that we can’t see the end of and, the seasons that we never want to end. There’s a passage of scripture that I stumbled upon that describes a certain season that I think that we forget is necessary. This season helps us, yet we tend to despise it and wallow in grief and sadness when we have the opportunity to go through it. This season is referred to as a strengthening season.

 

1 Samuel 2:9-10 (NLT)

“He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone. Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the Lord judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one.”

 

            Hannah, a woman of courageous faith, prayed this prayer as she was giving her baby boy, whom she had earnestly prayed many, many years for, to a priest named Eli who would then raise her baby in the temple all of his life. The very last words that she prayed were, “he increases the strength of his anointed one.” Is it not true that He does? If we were to look back at our lives, have we not grown stronger throughout the years? I know for a fact, that we can all look to a certain point, or situation, in our lives that more than likely was not pleasant, and we can agree that going through that hard time, made us stronger. Yet, in that hour of unpleasantness, most of us tend to forget that we are protected by the King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

            My question is: why is that? Why do we forget whom we serve the minute that things go awry? I’m just as guilty as the next person, but this doesn’t quench my curiosity. Shouldn’t we, as children of the Most High King, know that through everything that life may throw at us, we will be protected and provided for? Maybe we doubt so easily because we’ve tried to rely on our strength alone for too long, and when God puts us in situations where we HAVE to completely rely on Him, we freak. Like Hannah said in her prayer, “No one will succeed by strength alone. Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered.” Yet, we still fight. Like I said before, we wallow in grief and sadness when the opportunity comes for us to go through this season. In turn, we are fighting against the One that allowed us to be in this situation in the first place. I am in no way saying that we should just let the enemy walk all over us, but what I am saying is that instead of coming against our situations with our strength, and doing whatever we can do to get out of it, we should trust in God to do what He does best: love us.

 

James 1:2-3 (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

 

            Endurance just happens to be a synonym of strength. So, instead of seeking God’s hands to give us the strength to “get through this trying time,” maybe we should start seeking His face so that we can get closer to His strong arms that will get us through every situation. Then, and only then will we be able to consider our trials pure joy because, we have the great opportunity to come closer to God. I do believe that’s what all of this strengthening stuff is about. If we are as close to God as we can possibly be, then nothing can get in between our relationship with Him. Because, strength really isn’t about how physically strong we are, but about how strong our relationship is with our Father. So, endure the season that you’re going through with pure joy, and continue on to seek His face. Stop being the victim and stop being shattered. Your Father is waiting in the wings for you to start claiming the victory that is sure to come if you will just trust in Him.

 

- Haley


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