Ecclesiastes 3:11b; He has made everything beautiful in its time.
I have squinted at this verse a number of times and now that I can relate I believe it is true. God did create each one of us for a purpose. There is some special purpose you and I were created for. At times they seem minuscule but you know what if your baby toe got hurt you would let out a wail. A really loud one at that. Getting to a place where I understand myself and previous behavior patterns and also understanding why I react in certain ways has been so enlightening… getting to accept myself was even harder but as I gain more understanding and peace with it, I feel better than I ever have.
We have all been given gifts… according to God’s grace and timing. This takes me to today’s scripture quoted above but I will repeat it for emphasis’ sake. “He makes everything beautiful in its own time…” and I say to you He will make you beautiful in your own time… you and me both. It has been on my mind for about a week now. Today, I think God peeled back another layer for me.
Here’s what I’m thinking… it was on 5th August, the eve of my birthday, that I was evaluating the past years and what I had generally achieved or not achieved, comparing my reality against my expectations. At first, I felt I had fallen short. I felt that I didn’t particularly stand out in any field and way back when I had asked my friends to tell me what I was good they had a lot to say. At the time I was pleased because their responses served their purpose (I had been feeling pretty down), that is to encourage me, however on the 5th it didn’t, because I kind of felt below the bar, mediocre. I realized that I was generally good at many things… I could sing, I could write, I dabble in numbers with ease (nothing too complicated though) I could cook (I am not the best but I think I am pretty good when I want to be), I’m good at my job, I’m a good fashion designer. The list is pretty long however for some reason I was bothered that I was not the best in any of those fields, I didn’t stand out and following a very enlightening conversation with an elder colleague I thought felt I had to up my game majorly if I were to be “Someone.” Then the next question came. Did I want to be … hmmn?
Secondly, I previously had an issue with balancing my life because of all these fabulous things I felt I could do (ps. I considered myself way above average.) because I wanted a piece of each and every bit of those things. However, because I had not yet learnt how to balance my life sometimes I had had to sacrifice or risk one in favor of the other. Once I did the cost-benefit analysis I was at a loss. In fact, it bred anxiety… I was always worried about what I was sacrificing to be able to do a bit of what I really loved. Another problem with that was that it made me more of a dreamer than a doer. Because I laid out these plans, did the research, ask a thousand questions but never got to the doing part sometimes. One of the sad things about this is that when you have “other challenges” such as procrastination coupled with some fear it gets harder to follow through with your plans. I could go on and on… Can you relate?
But my Papa stayed true to me. Bless the Lord! In his word Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would remind us about the word at the opportune time and boy was that opportune for me. A self-pity thundered storm had been brooding above me when He reminded me through a word I had listened to that morning. To count our achievements as those things we overcame. (and when we overcome trials, he blesses us.) (2 Corinthians 12: 1-10.) This is what we should be proud of. Those moments when we were to weak, too ignorant, too powerless yet we overcome those trials because we remembered to asked and he intervened. You must admit, God is too good eh? Blessing you when He is the one who basically helped you and just because you asked? Do you realize that had those “bad things” we escaped/survived had the ability to overturn our lives and make us our worst nightmare? Yes, it is true. Think about it… you know those moments I’m talking about. Say had you gone through with a certain decision? You probably wouldn’t be where you are today, you’d probably be miserable or worse, dead and I’m referring to the kind of death that people whisper about. So many times our weaknesses lead us to commit the gravest sins, those hidden sins only we know about and the devil capitalizes on those the most. This is because he is aware of the harm they can cause… that is to kill, steal and destroy us. He is merciless I’m telling you! But the good news is the Lord is aware of this and he comes in to tell you and I that it is when we are weakest that He can be and is our strength for His grace is sufficient for us. I then looked back at all the weirdest and seemingly impossible situations I went through and yet here I am today. I stopped all my silly thoughts and Praised the Lord! To be honest I look back and say that wasn’t me fighting for me, that was all Him.
And that brings me to our topic today. God has the final say, He chooses when everything happens and in the journey of our lives, I believe there are things he has predestined to happen. So He will bring you to those “times” or “moments” where and whence you are supposed to be… the decision you make as to how you react or deal with them will be yours… and if you choose his way, his will, his assistance his direction… he makes that thing beautiful in that season… Yes, God’s grace is given freely to all, but to enjoy the Lord’s favor and bloom in your season…? That is something else altogether so beautiful (Ephesians 1: 3-14)
Flowers have time to bloom and time to regrow, time to redevelop after they have wilted. In order to bring forth the new… I think we are the same. If they miss out only the timely pruning, or sufficient sunshine, or even mulch, they don’t grow as well. In fact, it might take a longer time for us to see the flowers or the fruit. If they are not shielded from the elements they may be destroyed and miss out on their season. God gives gifts and blessings to all his children, gifts we are to use according to the grace given us. Some are given 10%, 20%, 70%, 100%, 150% and when he is pleased with your hard work he adds on more and more. Talent differs. It is why there are singers and then there are songbirds… some people have “natural talent” at certain things it’s just amazing to watch them at work, it is almost “other worldly”.
At times some people for some time remain behind the scenes until their moment comes and they are forced to break out of their shell. Take for example a number of singers started out as back up singers and then go on to have and enjoy long and strong careers while some people’s candles burn strong and bright from the very beginning but for a short time… there are careers for example Athletes and footballers whose careers boom for just a number of years due to the intense nature of their talent and after that you almost if ever here about these people or if they are open to the Lord’s direction move on to higher better things. Why? because there’s a time time and season for everything… and he makes everything beautiful in its own time. I recently listened to Usain Bolt talk about how he retired from Sprinting at 31 (He is the Fastest man alive, literally, says the Guinness World book of records). When asked why since he had been at the top of his game, he responded that he himself had previously asked Michael Johnson Why he retired and he had told him that once he finally achieved what he set out to achieve he would feel the need to retire and thus move on. So the man bloomed well and sure in his season and now a new season with its own challenges and excitements begins for him. I look forward to seeing what he does next. That reminds me, my mother once in a while asks me why I gave up basketball and for some reason (before I knew this) I always replied that “it had had its time.” (ps. Mummy only ever watched me play once and I guess in her eyes I was brilliant hmmn) but the thing is once I got to University the fire burned low and my focus turned to other things or priorities which I’m glad to say paid off (Galatians 6:7-8)
So seasons come and go… and one thing is clear you are very responsible for how long you take there. You either accept the pruning and grow that extra branch that will way you down for life. You either grow that taproot deep deep deep or wind will uproot you. You either green up and get some chlorophyll in you or you won’t have any food to sustain you during the wilting so you can come back a bold a brighter flower. You either pray to your farmer to mulch and water you so that your soil/sources can enrich you during difficult times… so that you enjoy your season of beauty in its time. The time he really wanted you to enjoy his favor. The downside is obvious, you miss out on the above, you stay in the garden unnoticeable till you dry up and are burned with the rest of the trash!
So I want to encourage you to turn to God and give over the direction, the management of your life and seasons. He knows best! No else but Him is in charge of that. Do not be fooled by distractors or the temporary. He gifted you and knows the best way to help you use and capitalize your gifts to have the best future possible. Stop looking for people to figure you out! Ask him First (Philippians 3: 4-7) then He will tell you what to do, he will put the right people in your path to guide you, to push you towards achieving those things. He planned these things as he knitted you in your mother’s womb. Plans to make you prosper not to break you. Papa, God created you for His good pleasure. It wholly gives him pleasure to see you successful and happy.
Back to me, I realized I had been given the grace to be good at a number of things and in their right time if I work steadily to maintain and bear fruit, He will make each one of them beautiful in their time. I smiled and considered my role in not helping my gifts to grow or bloom. I am so grateful that our prayer group taught us “the how” of how the work out our purpose (for another day). The problem comes when we are first of all confused about where to start, then we do not prepare or if we do it is not sufficient, we sleep instead of working, when we procrastinate we postpone greatness. Take for example the Israelites, they left Egypt armed with treasures off to the promised land buuuut took 40 years as a result of their disobedience. You see God knows who and how the gifts He issues should be handled… when He is preparing to blessing you, He wants you NOT to miss out on the blessing first of all and secondly to know how to handle your blessing. He is a God of order after all.
So today ask yourself these questions “In what season am I, Am I in the sewing, the growing, the bloom or am I wilting (for the right reasons) or am I in the dessert of my life? what is keeping me there, how long do I want to stay in the desert, and what can I do to get out of it, and what lesson am I failing to learn?” (write this down.) Beware that God will take drastic measures to see He’s will be done and to keep His promises for He is a faithful God.You see after that first generation of Israelites sinned against the Lord and disobeyed him, He decided they would not see the promised land, so basically they all died during the 40 years and it was their offspring who would enjoy it.
Maybe you have heard the term “new creation” used when referring to salvation. We become a new creation upon deliverance from our sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives. Do you notice the consistency of God throughout the times- Old testament and new testament? the old passes and the new comes to life for God cannot dwell in a place where there’s no light… however He can refine you, work with you to get you where you need to be so you can enjoy what He promised if you ask (James 1:2-8.) The next step of your season. It can therefore be concluded that that season of beauty is a reward to those that have worked hard, that have pushed through the difficult times, who have stayed true, who have worked with God to allow his purpose for their lives to be. And lastly, when the will of God is done on Earth… oh the treasures you have stored up in Heaven!!!! So each one of us has a season of beauty just waiting for us to take it up!