Have you ever thought you were finally almost out of a difficult season in your life only to find–it’s not over yet? Or, it ended briefly, only to return with more full vengence? Have you ever thought things were finally changing, or finally “good,” and then find they are even worse than before?
I was looking out the window this morning and it was just so dark and dreary. There are still remains of snow and unmelted ice. And the yard, and ground, and earth are all muddy and brown. It’s really quite ugly. There’s just so much mud and dirt and yuck outside. And the thermostat is only topping off at 40 degrees. Which means we’re all still trudging around in boots and coats.
It’s supposed to be Spring. My calendar says so.
We’ve gotten a few tastes of it, but for the most part we’re still stuck in this winter. This awful winter, that has landed us yet again in the top 5 snowiest cities. We thought it was finally over. We thought we were finally out of it.
And then it snows again. Isn’t this supposed to be over? Isn’t this supposed to be different…by now?
That’s how it feels sometimes, when we are waiting on God to deliver us. Or deliver someone we love. Or to free us from a certain situtation. Or heal us from a certain disease. Or to restore a broken relationship. To rebuild shattered trust. To rebuild our finances. To cut us loose from a horrible job, and give us a new one. To give us the thing that we’ve been so desperately asking for.
Sometimes the waiting feels so long. Sometimes the nights feel so desperate. Sometimes the days feel so alone. And sometimes we’re just left wondering:
Will Spring ever come?
I’m not talking about weather. I’m talking about whatever “Spring” is for you. The “Spring” of your soul, the season of warmth, and ease, and pleasure. The comfort for your afflicted soul.
I want to encourage you this morning. It’s coming. He is coming. For you.
As I looked today at all the mud, and yuck, I realized something today:
Sometimes things look worse, when they are actually getting better. Like the earth, it is undergoing a change right now, to transition into the next season. And while it looks ugly, and dirty, and dark outside–underneath it all–God is doing something. He’s watering the earth. He is preparing it for the next season. New life is just about to break forth. Spring is coming.
So, don’t throw away your hope. If things in your life suddenly look worse than they ever have, perhaps it’s because God is preparing you for new life. There has to be mud, before grass. Think about how during childbirth, the last phase of labor is the most difficult. The moments of the most intense pain come right before the baby is delivered. The moments of feeling like “I cannot take this anymore,” come right before the deliverance.
Maybe it feels like your hope has been deferred just one too many times. Maybe you aren’t sure if God is hearing you. Maybe you don’t know if God can sort through such a complicated situation. Maybe you wonder if He has any grace left for you. Maybe you wonder if God still heals. Maybe you can’t remember a time when things were good. Maybe you are so sick of the “same problem.” Maybe you haven’t seen grass in a very long time. Or new life.
Sometimes the ugliest moments come before the most beautiful ones. And God is bigger than your pain, bigger than your dispair, bigger than your confusion.
So don’t lose heart—if things just suddenly “got worse.” Don’t be afraid. God is in your midst. The ground looks the ugliest before new grass comes, before flowers can grow. You are not forgotten, your way is not lost. Your life is ever before Him. And He knows, He sees you. He hears you.
“O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires.” Isaiah 54:11
Here’s a prayer to pray if you can’t find the words:
Oh God, I thought it would be better by now. I thought we were done dealing with this. I thought we wouldn’t have to go through this again. And Lord, I confess, I feel I can’t go on anymore. I feel I can’t see anything. It’s so dark sometimes. I can’t see You, I can’t see the light, I can’t see anything but this awful “thing.” My hope is so fragile, and weak. But here, right here in this mess. Right here in this chaos. Right here in this death. I lift my hands to you. Like a child needing to be carried. Like someone needing to be rescued. Come, rescue me. “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me…” (Habakkuk 2:1) I will wait for You, like the watchman waits for the morning. I won’t fear the night. This long season of darkness. Because in the darkness, You speak. In the mud, you plant seeds of new life, that will spring up.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off fom the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls–Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
He is the hope for the one whose feet fail. If you are at a point where your feet cannot go any futher, and you have no more strength–good news! He gives you new feet. Right at the place you can’t walk anymore. He makes your feet like the feet of a deer, so that you can. Praise God, because you don’t have to pull up your boot straps. You can just take off your shoes. And say, “God, I need new feet.” And He will give you new feet. He will enable you to walk in a way you never have before. He will enable you to walk upon the heights. And you will be able to say,
“The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19
My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by. –Rich Mullins
Spring is coming. Your God is coming. For You. And all who hope in Him,
will never be put to shame.
He makes all things new. He makes all things grow. He leads you beside quiet waters. He makes you lie down in green pastures. And however long this winter, the day is coming when you will walk in the new grass, with bare feet.
So don’t despise the mud, life is about to break forth from it.
Dr Bob Griffin says
Not only “mothers” who read this blog. This old grandpa/pastor is so often blessed as heartfelt thoughts are shared. And today, I confess, I needed this message deep in my own heart.
Every winter is harder and every spring seems to take longer to appear. But it does. Like the sure coming of my Lord and the eternal springtime of heaven, God is near in ALL seasons of life.
Beautiful, Rebekah. I have been in those long seasons of waiting, despised the mud, and seen the Spring He brings. Only to find winter pop its icy head back up, just in a different area of life. I needed this very message today, once again. Thank you for bearing His message.:)
Thank you! I think sometimes knowing the chilling cold of winter, helps us appreciate “spring” all the more. Especially when “winter” rages longer and harder than we ever thought it would. I think it’s in that time that we find ourselves so very desperate for a Savior, and just like the spring, He comes. He comes and is warmer and more full of life than we ever imagined!
Bekah Fosbinder says
Thank you for your words of encouragement and for this blog. I have to say that I really need to hear it. I am nearing year 8 of my barrenness and I’m starting to finally come to terms with the fact that I need to be happy no matter where I am. It’s hard to hear and take to heart words of “encouragement” from those that don’t know what it’s like to wait for pregnancy. I know you know my struggle so your words seems to penetrate my heart with a bit more force. My mission has become clear: find the joy. I have tried for so long to cover up the pain and try to replace it with things that fill my day. My husband and I became foster parents to a couple of beautiful girls two years ago and though I love them I know that the pain I thought they would heal cannot be healed by anyone other than God. Thank you for stretching my thoughts and my faith. For forcing me to open up old wounds and for stating the truth even when it hurts. I don’t always like to read what you write because I know it’s true. THANK YOU!!
From a fellow Rebekah married to a Brandon! (thanks for spelling your name correctly, haha:)
It is so nice to meet such a kindred spirit! I had to smile that we share the same name, and are both married to Brandon’s! How cool is that?? I have to say, I am so moved by your response. You, my dear, have cut to the very heart of it. “Find the joy.” What a piercing message. I don’t think there’s a greater mantra to live by than this. “Find the joy.” I think I need to write that all over my walls, because it’s easy to forget, but life changing to remember!
I am sorry the road has been long, and I’m sure wearing. I pray God opens up the way for you…to find the joy. Wherever that leads. That you would above all else find Him. That He would fill you with rivers of joy, and new joys would be continued to be discovered, so great that you never even knew it was possible. I pray He strengthens you and your husband, and gives you guys a vision for the future, even if it’s just a very small thing. I feel really blessed and humbled to have you reading my words. And though I have a daughter, I am right with you sister. The mission is the same, whether we’ve been given much or little: find the joy.
Thanks for your encouragement and beautiful perspective. It is so good for me to hear it. I pray us Rebekah’s and Brandon’s find the joy!
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Thank you, Rebekah! I read this through tears. I have something that I have been struggling with and it really does seem like every time I start to move forward into freedom, I find myself struggling again…and with more intensity than before. This is definitely an area that keeps me humble and forces me to realize my desperate need for the LORD’s grace and strength. I know that I am already FREE in Christ. I feel like I am still learning how to walk in that freedom every day. Thank you for your encouragement to see that perhaps there is something new and good about to break through!! 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing where you are coming from. I know there are moments when it seems like you are finally set free…and then you are in bondage again. Or, it seems like an issue is resolved…and it comes back with greater chaos and complexity than ever imagined! Sometimes I wonder how the disciples felt when it seemed like everything was going good following Jesus–and then He died on the cross. It had to be the most horrible feeling imaginable. (Um..did God just die?) (Now what?) Surely, there was no darker moment in the history of the world! But during those three days, of I’m sure the worst grief imaginable…something was happening. Life, eternal life was about to break forth. And Jesus would rise again, having defeated death and the grave. Forever! Perhaps it’s kind of a strange connection to make..but the point is that sometimes it’s darkest before dawn. Keep remembering that dawn is coming. Because as long as we have Christ, there is hope, there redemption, there is new life on the way. I know the disappointment that can be felt during those times of darkness, but keep believing that God is doing more than you can see with your own eyes right now, and that light will break forth into your situation. He is transforming you and the people around you (and that can look quite ugly at times.) I pray you just keep clinging to Him. And that the Holy Spirit pours out hope into your heart, since with God all things are possible. And I pray He keeps showing you how to walk in that freedom and newness of life. Also read Isaiah 61:1-4 just for a picture of what God is able to do with broken hearted, heavy spirited, sin bound people! God is amazing in what he can do!
Thank you so much Rebekah! I feel like the LORD speaks right through you! He has really given you a gift to speak the truth in love. Today was a much better day. The struggle was there but He gave me victory! I felt a sense of peace like I haven’t felt in awhile. Grateful for today after a really difficult day yesterday. Thank you again! 🙂 Michelle