Seasons. Challenges. Trials. Mountains. Valleys.
These are terms we use to describe where we stand in life. We go through many valleys to reach the mountains. Each season holds different challenges or joyful moments. And sure, when you have reached the mountain top it’s a beautiful season and you have been immensely blessed to reach it. But, there are the seasons when we sit in the valley of shadows; where we can’t hear God and feel that we are completely empty-handed. I want to talk about this.
As a believer, and like most believers I have been in the valley of shadows. I could not hear God, feel Him, and I didn’t have much desire to seek Him because the pain was unbearable and I wasn’t sure if He was listening. And each time I had no desire to seek Him, I sunk deeper and deeper into the negative thoughts and all the pain. And when this happens, it feels like there is no escape.
But, when it comes to having these feelings and thoughts, we MUST chase God even harder. Listen closer. Dive deeper. He is speaking, it just may not be in the way you are use to hearing Him.
Matthew 13:24-30 (NIV) speaks of The Parable of the Weeds and it reads:
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
I read this and God spoke to my heart. Later in this chapter of Matthew, Jesus speaks about what this parable represents, but I believe that every time we read His word there is something new to learn. In verse 30, it says to “let both grow together,” this being the weeds and the wheat. The weeds represent the bad and the wheat- the harvest or the blessing.
Sometimes we want Jesus to uproot the bad in our life so we can simply reap the harvest sown. But in the dark seasons there is a REFINING process! In our lives, we sometimes need the weeds. How will we gain wisdom and grow without experiencing trouble? In times of trouble when we can’t hear or feel God we must chase Him harder! In the end, we will REAP THE HARVEST SOWN and every weed will be pulled by the Savior and we will go to Him in praise!
In Ruth 3, Ruth tells Naomi that Boaz didn’t want her to return “empty-handed”. And those words particularly stuck out to me. We can be in a season full of weeds, a season where the harvest is being sown but the weeds are coming with it. I want to remind you that there is ALWAYS a blessing in the midst of it all. There is no coincidence that certain people or opportunities are in your path- God has His hand in every single part of it! Even if you can’t see that truth- hold on to it. Don’t ever feel like a season is pointless because while you are in it, He is giving you EVERYTHING you need. When you come out of that season of pain- the weeds will be pulled up and your hands will be full of blessings! Jesus will never let you walk out of a situation empty-handed. You will always be full of His love, grace, and blessings. Hold on to truth.
You Are Loved.
words by Alexis Johnson and photo by Kiana Dundore