Spring Is Coming!

If it's wintertime where you live, the trees, bushes, flowers, and grass don't look like they're doing much today. The leaves have fallen, the grass is a dormant brown, and the flowers look dead. But horticulturists tell us that there is way more taking place than meets the eye. During the winter months, the nutrients that the trees, flowers, and plants use to grow and bloom are being resourced into different areas, such as for thickening the tree bark or for preparing the plant or flower for the new growth and blooming season. Unless this takes place, the trees and plants will not become what they're supposed to be.

It's the same with us. During the times when we feel as though there's nothing happening, as though we're dormant, we need to be pushing nutrients to the other areas of our life. We need to be pushing patience, faithfulness, and steadfastness to other areas, so that when it's time to go to the next level, when it's time for new growth, everything is in place and ready to bud and eventually bloom!

Starting in Genesis 37, if you read about the life of Joseph, you'll see that he was growing and doing just fine at home, but wintertime set in with a series of storms. He went from being sold into slavery, then being falsely accused of a crime and held in prison for years. I can imagine he felt his life was completely dormant and dark. But Joseph used his time wisely in the prison and all through that period pushed the faithfulness and steadfastness into his character, which prepared him to eventually become the ruler of Egypt. Think about this for a minute: Joseph was ruled before he ruled.

We have to learn the same lessons that Joseph did. During the times when it seems as though there's nothing happening, you have to be channeling your resources to other places. What do you need to work on? What is God wanting to do in your life? Are you becoming everything that you're supposed to be in this wintertime? Use those energies to grow and to become prepared for everything that the next season holds. Your life may feel dull and dark today, but your winter always gives way to spring. And when spring breaks forth, it's going to be better than you ever imagined. Look for it! It's coming!


Seasons of Silence

Do you know that God loves you so much that at times He'll hide you? He'll cause you to be overlooked. He'll cause doors to shut. He'll cause a promotion to go to your coworker. You can be talented and hidden, anointed and hidden, have great ideas and hidden. If you don't understand that it's God hiding you, you'll be frustrated and try to make things happen on your own. Before you see acclaim, you'll go through a season of obscurity. You have to pass the test when you're being hidden.

We all have times when we're praying, but our prayers aren't being answered. We're being our best, but not getting good breaks, the problem is not turning around. It seems as though God is on vacation. But the silence is not a sign that God is not working. He may not be changing the circumstances, but He is changing us. God uses the seasons of silence to get us prepared. Your character is being developed. You're gaining experience, maturity and strength that you'll need for where God is taking you.

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets in the Bible. After studying and preparing for ministry, when no one else had the courage to speak up, Elijah went to the palace and spoke the word of the Lord to wicked King Ahab. After that, I'm sure he felt confident and ready for his next big assignment. But God said to him, "Leave here, go east and hide by the Brook Cherith" (1 Kings 17:3). I can imagine Elijah saying, "Excuse me, God, but I'm Elijah. I just prophesied to the king, and I'm ready for my national tour. Why would I go and hide now?" Elijah wanted to speak to the nation, but for the next three and a half years, he spoke only to a widow and her son. God hid him. It didn't make sense to him. Elijah had big things in his heart, but he trusted God's timing and was faithful when he was hidden. When you're faithful in the silent seasons, you're passing the test. You are setting yourself on a launching pad for God to take you further than you ever dreamed.

After three and a half years, God said, "Okay, Elijah, now you're ready. Here's your next assignment." After he was hidden, after his season of silence, Elijah performed many remarkable miracles. Don't fight the silence. Don't be frustrated when you're hidden. It's a part of the process. You're on the verge of seeing favor, increase and promotion as you've never dreamed. Doors are going to open wider than you thought could open. Keep being faithful, for your appointed time is on the way!


New Things

Over a period of time, I had been talking and praying with a woman whose husband had left her. But it was as though her desire for reconciliation in her marriage had become the complete focus and thrust of her life, like there could be nothing new in her life until he came back. I told her, "Listen, you can't stop living. Keep believing, but don't wait for this prayer to be answered and then you'll make plans for your life. You're too valuable. You have gifts and talents. Be the best you can be and take on new and exciting challenges that God has for you now. Don't get stuck."

This is what God spoke through the prophet Isaiah: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19). God is asking us, "Do you recognize the new thing I'm doing in your life?" He is saying, "Don't wait to have faith when the situation takes care of itself because I'm doing some new things right now. Look for it! Watch and see what I will do. It is a new thing!"

I believe that God has a word for someone who is reading this today. You need to keep on living. Don't focus so much on an area of your life that needs to change or on something you want to happen. Don't make your plans around an unanswered prayer. God has new things springing up even now. He didn't say there was not going to be a wilderness. He didn't say there wasn't going to be some things you look at and ask, "Why did this happen to me? This is a waste." God says, "You're not going to stay where you are. I can make a way in the wilderness. I can refresh you in the times that feel wasted. There are new opportunities, new ways of doing things, and new growth."

Don't waste your precious time, your precious life, when God has already put "new things" into motion. They are springing up for you to have today. Can you see it?