Learning from Seasons: Praising in Pause or Prosperity

Honestly, the last thing I want to give is another opinion about the pandemic going on in this world today. Personally, I’ve felt confused causing waves of anxiety to come at me. I’ve felt at a loss for words, and quite frankly, for any understanding regarding the current situation.

As I scrolled through social media this morning, I noticed consistent patterns in people’s posts. Well, at least the posts I could see. Good, bad or indifferent, it all revolved around the coronavirus (Covid-19).

When I looked at the calendar, I noticed today marks the first day of spring. But, there were no social media posts to reflect that. The darkness and uncertainty of what’s happening in the world around me tries to swallow up any bit of light and newfound hope. But, I felt this tug upon my heart to shift my perspective towards what is represented by patterns in seasons.

You see in the winter season, there seems to be a pause, or a stillness. The leaves die off of trees and flowers are not in bloom. Some animals hibernate or move South. There’s a dryness and chill in the air. What is visibly seen are ordinary colors in nature and much is not pleasing to the eye.


However, the winter season is not void of life. One, of many things, that is truly worthy of praise. The trees themselves are very much alive and there are cold-resistant plants that thrive. There’s a different, colorful species of birds that emerge, and other natural life flourishes during the winter months. Life in bloom may be at a standstill, but hope is not lost.

I’m moved within my spirit from anxiety to peace concerning the world’s current circumstances. Sure there’s been a shift in what society describes as “normalcy”. We are all left in a darkness with uncertainty about what the future holds. Life in bloom maybe at a standstill, but hope is not lost. I am reminded that both light and hope are found in the Lord. And these trying times cause me to shift my gaze towards the emergence of new life.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.- 1 Peter 1:3‭-‬6 NLT [emphasis mine]

From the perspective of which seasons were created, we can look at the pattern associated  with this first day of spring. It brings with it the hope of life in bloom- prosperity. Much more reason to praise! In fact, scripture adequately describes this “Hope for Restoration” in Isaiah 35.

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! … There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.- Isaiah 35:1‭-‬6‭, ‬10 NLT [emphasis mine]

Whether in a season of pause, as in the stillness of winter, or a season of prosperity, as in the hope of spring, one thing remains. To praise our Lord Jesus. For He is peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). For He is light in the darkness (John 8:12). For He is the source of hope (Psalm 71:5). For He is eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.- Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11‭, ‬14 NKJV

No Longer Caught In Between: Finding Freedom

Yesterday was Good Friday. And it is a holiday which represents the remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross. Although for me, I do not only reflect upon that event just one day of the year. I’m constantly reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice that took place on that day.

Like most anyone, I have experienced circumstances in my past that caused hurts I have long held onto (unforgiveness). I have committed acts of disobedience which caused me to sin against myself or others. Even now, I have daily struggled in the fight against believing lies within my mind (strongholds).

So, there I remained. Caught in between.

I have lingered upon the wrongs done and the sacrifice Jesus gave in order that my wrongs could be made right. And yet I have felt stuck. Not just yesterday on Good Friday. But, in the totality of all my yesterdays.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.- Ephesians 2:1-3

That is, until today. The day in between the observation of Jesus’ sacrifice and the hope offered in Jesus’ resurrection, as celebrated tomorrow on Easter day.

That’s when it happened. The realization that Jesus is already resurrected struck my spirit. I mean, I already knew it to be true. But, here in between the remembrance of it all, I realized I had indefinitely stayed stuck focusing on Jesus’ death. Every time I have committed a wrong I thought to myself, “Jesus died for you to be made right.” And so, I have lingered upon death. I beat myself up in my mind over and over again. Stuck. Sinning again and again. Caught in between.

Today I was reminded of Jesus’ words on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). All my transgressions from yesterday, today, and in any of my tomorrows. Finished. Death, where is your sting? Because the fact is- even on this Saturday in between these observances- Jesus is alive! (Revelation 1:18). He has already resurrected– which means rising again or raised to life again– and has ascended into glory.


Let me say it once more for emphasis; JESUS IS ALIVE! That means since I have handed over myself and my transgressions to Him, nailing those wrongs to the cross, drowning them in the blood He poured out for me (and for you), and dying of myself- I am raised to life again, too! No, I am not stuck. No, I am not caught in between.

because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.- Ephesians 2:4-7

I never had to be caught in between. But, it was in that place I was deceived by the enemy. It has been, and always will be, his mission to twist the words of the Lord. He seeks to keep God’s creation stuck in this sin-soaked world. However, the pivotal revelation that brought me from dwelling upon death to reveling in resurrection is found in true freedom.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.- Romans 8:1-2

God has raised me to life again! And, praise be to God, it is true for you too! Resurrection has already taken place. It is found in believing that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living inside of you! (Romans 8:11).

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord…- 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 (NIV)

From the Garden to Glory

Very recently, my family and I have been confronted with tragedy. A small gift that would come to a screeching halt leaving confusion, anguish, and despair. We learned of a pregnancy that soon became a miscarriage.

After comparing two ultrasounds, 11 days apart, the doctors revealed no progress. Our only given hope was found in a mere 1% chance of viability. Slim odds to be challenged by blood work for proof. The proof became closure that, in fact, there was no chance.

I can assure you that I’ve been through many hardships in my life. But, nothing, could prepare my soul for the whirlwind of emotions that would come.

I have to admit, it was hard for me to seek God in prayer. Not because I blamed God- no quite the contrary. I found it difficult to be joyful, praise Him, and thank Him (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) while experiencing such a deep, emotional pain.

However, I had a great army of friends praying for me and encouraging me. I was guided to listen to ‘The Garden’ by Kari Jobe. And, what an inspiring depiction of Jesus to comfort me during my personal journey.

I re-read the scripture of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. I was given reassurance that I was not alone in my feelings of confusion, anguish, and despair. My beloved Friend, my precious Savior, Jesus Christ, encountered the same emotional and physical pain.



Through this time, I have been grieved with confusion. I am left pondering the question, “Why me?”, “Why should I have to endure this kind of hardship?” I imagine that Jesus asked the same. “Why should I, who has never sinned, take upon myself all the sins of everyone in all existence?” Now, of course, I am paraphrasing. But, here’s what Jesus does say in scripture, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me;” (Luke 22:42a-AMP)

I’ve shed many tears in my life, but nothing like the deep, bellowing, uncontrollable streams that have poured out during this time. Oh, the anguish. But, Jesus- He knows what I’m going through, and even more. I never got to the point where my pain caused me to nearly die, but, Jesus did. “And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point of death], He prayed more intently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down on the ground.” (Lule 22:44-AMP)

When I was given a 1% chance of viability, it was my “last attempt” grasp for hope for this child to thrive. Then, came the despair. No more hope. No chance. Jesus, who had been given holy power and authority by his Almighty Father, could have walked away from the destination of the cross. But, he knew there was a 0% chance of eternal life for God’s created people whom He loved so much. Imagine the despair. “yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42b-AMP)

I have great consolation in Jesus’ experience. However, just like Jesus, I know my journey does not end in the garden. Just like Jesus, I know my journey does not end on Calvary’s hill. Just like Jesus, my journey does move onward with promises for hope, peace, and joy.

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:11,16-18) 

Just like Jesus who was resurrected and ascended into glory, I will be given restoration and the ability to rise again. And, for this reason I am able to be joyful, praise my Jesus, and thank Him for my promises.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”- John 16:33 (NLT)

Edited to update some of my favorite resources that have helped me throughout my journey of grief from loss.

The Garden, CD
By Kari Jobe / Sparrow


I am a person who has high expectations for people and experiences. I feel that people may not see the potential in themselves that I see. I feel the need to constantly be doing something to get the most out of my time. But, I often long for something more.

Many times, I’m left disappointed from failed expectations. I’ve pondered what someone could, or should, do differently. I’ve wondered why after I’ve achieved my experiences I still feel a void.

To name a few:

I’ve had expectations for my husband. That he would do things for me or our home without my prompting. When those expectations are not fulfilled, I’m left feeling angry.

I’ve had expectations for my friends. That they would be there for me more often- providing social gratification. When those expectations aren’t met, I’m left feeling lonely and unwanted.

I have expectations for my child. That he will stay on a path of purity, choosing right over wrong. If that expectation doesn’t get met, I will feel like I’ve failed or that I could’ve done something more.

I’ve had expectations for my job. That my income would supplement our family to buy the things we need or want. When those expectations were exceeded by more spending on needs than earning, I was left with bitterness and resentment.

I’ve had expectations for food. That the sweet and savory taste of unhealthy eats would provide me a fulfilling satisfaction. When those expectations fall short, I’m left feeling regret and shame.

You see, dear friend, expectations for things of this world will always fail us. Maybe not right away. But it eventually catches up. It will lead to disappointment and hurts that are not of God.

The truth found in scripture reveals, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26). If only I would put my high expectations in God, the giver of life and of all good things.- “how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). 


There are a few variations of meaning for ‘expectation’. The Hebrew transliteration is tiqvah- meaning hope, or a thing longed for. The Greek transliteration is apokaradokia- meaning persistent, or intense anticipation. Applying this literally means to watch with head erect, to direct attention to anything, to wait for in suspense.

I must turn my expectant thoughts on God. I must hope and long for Him to meet my needs. I must persistently and intensely anticipate the good that will come when I focus on Him.

God is Sovereign and His promises are unconditional. Instead of focusing my expectations on people and experiences, I will focus on God and His truths:

  • When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations… For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!- Isaiah 64:3-4 (NLT)
  • For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus… which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth... It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth…- Colossians 1:4-6 (NLT)

  • All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.- 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)

My friend, you may have expectations very similar to mine. Maybe yours are to a lesser or a greater degree. Maybe yours is in a phone call, a good report, a new home, or even as simple as expecting to have a good day.

It’s not bad to have expectations. Just remember the source. Things of this earth will fail us. Instead put your expectations in God, the only source to provide anything we could hope for, and more! 

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”- Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

Provision & Fulfillment

I enjoy being an observer of nature. In my home, we have a window above our kitchen sink that shows our backyard. There’s a tree just a short distance away where we hang three bird feeders. I typically open the blinds while doing dishes to watch birds come and go.

The other day, I was doing just that. While watching, it began to downpour rain. It happened without warning or indication that this was going to take place.

Various birds had been eating. Many took flight at the onset of the downpour. But to my amazement, a handful actually stayed to feast.

Now, normally I would have felt sorry for the birds that stayed behind in the rain. However, God gave me a completely different perspective this particular day. He revealed that the birds who took flight were dwelling on their circumstances and left feeling hungry and empty. But, the birds who stayed to endure the weather continued to receive provision and fulfillment.

I began to think back on storms in my life. I pondered how many times I had taken flight, dwelt on the circumstances, or missed out on what was right there in front of me. Or, had I exhibited faith to be fed and satisfied- had I stayed to receive my provision and fulfillment.


Scripture tells us in Romans 5:3-5 (NLT), We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we have faith and put our hope in God through our trials, He will not allow us to feel hungry and empty. In fact, our promises rest in these scriptures:

  • It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.– Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)
  • God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.– Matthew 5:6 (NLT)
  • …how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!– Romans 5:17 (NIV)
  • Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!– Luke 1:45 (NIV)

Those birds who stayed in the downpour of rain had faith they will be fed and they took joy in their feast. With faith, we should take joy in receiving the abundance of God’s provisions and fulfillment through our trials. 

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”- 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)