DR. PHILLIP BRASSFIELD
One of our favorite seasons of the year is fall. As summer heat gives way to the cooler breezes of fall, autumn leaves adorn themselves in an array of vivid colors. In the Ozark Mountains, where we live, it’s spectacular. Cathy and I love to walk along the beautiful mountain stream behind our cabin and smell the aroma of a hickory fire and enjoy the splendor of God’s glorious canvas. As much as we love this time of year when it arrives, we haven’t forgotten the long hot summer and humid temperatures. We are always reminded that seasons change.
Nothing is forever but God! This season we have been in is no exception. This season shall pass. The crazy politics, the raging pandemic will pass with their urgency, and drift away like smoke in a strong wind. And then, there will be something else, of course.
The Prophet Daniel says in Daniel chapter 2 verse 20 and 21: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.”
From this passage we are reminded that God is in control. He is in control in our nation, politics, economy, our churches and families. We can trust Him through every season. No matter how chaotic or difficult, God is in control and we belong to God; we are His children.
The good news is that during this difficult season, we have the opportunity to master certain characteristics that will serve us well moving forward. Here are a few things I am learning more about:
1. The power of Obedience. During this time when I have felt like I’ve had so few answers, I have been reminded that obedience is still the gold standard in the Kingdom. My lack of understanding or even sense of what to do in no way is a reflection of God’s position. He knows full well His plans and is not disengaged from the circumstance. God is working. So, my best posture and plan is to obey and follow His leading. Obedience opens the door to everything God has in store for me and for those I serve. God, as a wise manager of resources and people, knows when and how all things should be done. Perfect in all His ways, God is the Master of time and opportunity and aligns both with people who will do things His way for His reasons.
2. The importance of faithfulness. Faithfulness is something we are capable of. If we were not, it would not have been a command from Scripture. During this season, and every season for that matter, our focus should be to remain faithful. Faithfulness requires consistency, dependability, endurance and optimism. Faithfulness is the testimony of hope in our lives and speaks loudly that we are trusting God to finish what He has started in us. When we are faithful, especially in difficult seasons, we proclaim our confidence is in God and not our circumstance.
3. The security of relationships. It has really been amazing to me how during this season I have held on even more tightly to the relationships God has put in my life. From our family to our dear friends, my love and appreciation has only grown. It seems like I have been more tuned into people during this season, and that’s a good thing. I can be a little too task oriented at times. The scripture speaks about this in Ecclesiastes chapter 4:9-12 “Two [are] better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him [who is] alone when he falls, For [he has] no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm [alone]? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
A threefold cord is not easily broken. During this season I have learned that when I add a trusted friend and God to the mix of any situation, we form a formidable force with which the situation must reckon. God knew what He was doing when He set the solitary in families.
I’m thankful for what I am learning afresh and anew during this crazy season of 2020. I will be better because of it. While it’s nothing new, it is always fresh and powerful. Obedience, faithfulness and friendship: they stand like monumental mountains in the winds of changing times, and for me, lessons reimagined as this season has come and IS going!