Tricky, tricky, summertime
Summer isn’t usually my best season spiritually. The lack of structure often throws me off balance, and because in the past, I didn’t have the best work ethic and discipline, my spiritual life often slacked. But this summer has been different. It’s not anything I’ve done differently, but it’s about a God who’s faithful whenever we ask. I prayed to God that this summer, I would draw closer to Him like never before, and despite being only a few weeks in, I can see a noticeable difference. I realize now that I had been in a season of my life that has come to an end. Over the past seven or so weeks, from about the beginning of May till early June, it was as though a dark cloud hovered above my head. I’m not being dramatic. I’m usually very joyful, even in the face of the gravest situations, but for some reason, I found that I wasn’t feeling that Jesus joy down in my soul.
Today I write because I am in a different season. I am in a very different time. I feel this energy in my spirit and I know, I just know, that the next season of my life will be amazing. Amazing like bright colors and fireworks in the sky. Amazing because me and Jesus have just has another intense season and I’ve come out of it invigorated.
Here are a few things I’ve learned
What goes on inside you is more important than what goes on outside. I used to think that crises only happened externally. I used to think that problems only come at us. Now I realize that the things from within can cause much more turmoil to your life than the things from outside. I was so fearful of my post graduation season that I felt very crippled. I had prayed and fasted and trusted God for so much that when He did grant my requests, I did not even remember how to be joyful and how to praise Him. I was in mild denial that He had done all that He did. How pitiful. We ask and ask from God, and then He does, and we don't even know how to react. Thankfully, I regained a new balance and I look back now in total awe of God's mercy.
I've learned that when Jesus is sitting in your boat, you can be at a storm and still have peace, perfect peace that the world cannot take away from you.
It is important to note what you do when you don’t feel your best. I wouldn’t ordinarily share this, but I did a fast that I believe loosened the post-grad lethargy I had been feeling for a few weeks now. I didn’t eat for three days, and on the last day, I had a very important phone call. Although the meeting didn’t go as I’d hoped, I clearly heard the Lord telling me to go and eat, although it was only about noon and I had planned to eat at 6pm. I felt like David in 2 Samuel 12, where he pleaded with the Lord to spare the life of his first son with Bathsheba. The Lord rejected David’s plea and the son still died, but right afterwards, David bathed and ate, although he had been in mourning and prayer for one whole week.
After my phone call I ate, knowing in my heart that God had perfected all that concerns me. He has perfected every single thing that concerns me. Isn’t that an amazing promise? He has perfected every single little bit of every tiny thing that concerns Alheri. Isn’t He amazing?
I wrote about the fast because I think fasting is an amazing spiritual exercise. When we take our minds off food and our physical needs, we wait on God in a way that we wouldn’t ordinarily do. We lay ourselves out before Him and indicate that we’re desperate, we’re serious, and we’re ready to hear from Him.
I knew that something wasn’t right with me. I knew, without a doubt, that I was going through a season, and that God was calling me to “come up higher,” and now that I look back at how I responded to that call, I can only thank God for the spirit of obedience. I want to to encourage you to fast. When times are hard, fast. When all is rosy, fast. When you feel spiritually stale, fast. You can go any period of time, but make a deliberate and intentional effort to wait upon the Lord. It is always worth it.
In the past few days, I spent a lot of time asking myself why I write this blog. I don’t necessarily see myself as an encourager or an inspirer. All I do here is share my journey with God, because I strongly believe that in the word of the Lord, there is inspiration and encouragement. I share what God has done for me, because the testimony of the righteous encourages.
I believe that as I say what’s on my mind and heart through the different seasons of my life, you too are encouraged in your journey with God.
I pray that you encounter Him, that you go farther in your journey with God, not merely because you’ve heard about Him, but because you want to experience Him for yourself.
If I get to heaven and one person points at me and says I encouraged them in their journey of faith, I will be eternally satisfied. Just to know that you read my tiny corner of the world wide web and were encouraged to live a life for Jesus, that’s all I want. That God will use me, everything about me, to bring glory to His name. That’s true fulfilment.
If you’re giving up, please don’t. Jesus sees you and He heard your heart’s cry. He will pull you out and He will come to your comfort. Today I have joy in my heart that is bubbling and literally keeping me up all night studying the word of God and pressing further into Jesus. That can be your story, too. This can be your reality.
Jesus has promised that all those who come to Him, He will in no wise cast out. Give your heart to Him today and watch Him transform your life.
Featured image from here.