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Finding God In Your Every Season

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV)

 

I have had many seasons in my life. My guess is, so have you. I’m not talking Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall - though we’ve likely all experienced our share of these. My favourite thing about God is that everything He does has a purpose - down to the times of the year. We see object lessons if we look, and amazing truths can be discovered. The same could be said in each season we find ourselves in.

In the last 4 years alone, I’ve found myself in so many different ones: as unemployed, as a graduate student in a city where I knew no one, as a newlywed pastor’s wife and homemaker, as a part-time teacher’s aide, and now as a full-time teacher juggling many responsibilities. This one is extremely busy. Each season has been trying in their own way and some were even satisfying and fulfilling, but in every one of them, I’ve come to learn that true contentment that comes only from the Lord. I have also learned that even though it is difficult at times to see, God is in every season.

Each differs and some seasons last longer than others, but one thing remains constant; the love of God and the fact that we need Him. How amazing that God wants to be near us in everything we go through!

Finding God In Your Every Season | www.maplealps.com

In seasons of closeness with God, delight in Him and savour His presence (see Psalm 37:4).

In seasons of doubt and drought, remember the delight you found in God’s presence, and cling to Him (see Psalm 77:11).

In seasons of busy-ness, find quiet times to be restored. Remember that your life exists not without the Creator (see Isaiah 40:28).

In seasons of God-gifted love, remember that God is Love, and we can only love the way He loves when we love Him with our whole heart (see 1 John 4:8).

In seasons of hunger, remember that Jesus is the bread of life (see John 6:35).

In seasons of disappointment, rely not on your feelings. The heart is deceptive...who can know it (see Jeremiah 17:9)? Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

In seasons of uncertainty, hold fast to the promise that God is the same yesterday, today and forever (see Hebrews 13:8).

In seasons of searching, seek for the Lord (see Deuteronomy 4:29)!

In seasons of longing, remember that God is the strength of your heart (see Psalm 73:26).

In seasons of shame, remember that Christ restores (see Psalm 51).

In seasons of contentment, thank God for His many blessings, and share them with others (see Psalm 9:1)!

In seasons of discontent, remember that God will never leave you and is all that you need (See Hebrews 13:5).

In seasons of discouragement, remember that God’s grace is sufficient (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).

In seasons of confusion, remember the truth will set you free (see John 8:32).

In seasons of anxiety, remember that God has everything under control (see Matthew 6:25-34).

In seasons of joy, rejoice! This is the day the Lord has made! (see Psalm 118:24).


 

What seasons are you experiencing in your life right now?


 

On Comparing Yourself to Others

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Is it just me who has struggled with comparing myself to other people? I used to catch myself feeling sorry for myself when thinking about others people, or seeing their lives flash before me on social media channels. It used to consume me. I moped around in a constant pity party not seeing any value or worth in who I was and it affected every area of my life. I did not realize that comparison for me was truly just another word for envy and idolization.

I am sometimes tempted to think less of myself and watch and romanticize and covet the lives of those around me. The other extreme of comparison can lead to self-righteousness; thinking we are better than others. When I do catch myself, I find that doing the following tips help me quickly get back on track. 

Look to Jesus

The only true comparison we should care about is our comparison to Jesus. We are called to be like Him, so why do we bother looking at anyone else? As one of my favourite hymns goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and the things of earth will go strangely dim…”. To be like Christ, we must look at Christ.I could honestly end my post here because this is the key, but I will go on and share some more practical points...

 

Find Inspiration

Choose to be inspired by the stories of others. I have personally been inspired by those who have complete, sold-out lives for the Lord and who make a difference in others’ lives - including my own. 

 

Count Your Blessings, be Thankful & Choose to be Content

Count your own blessings and recognize what God has done in your life. I guarantee that if you look back, you can see His leading. Remember His leading in the past, and trust He will lead you now if you continue to surrender yourself to Him. Be thankful, and you will have a hard time complaining. 


Embrace Yourself

We are all individual beings with quirks and personalities that are unique to us. It’s unfair to compare our individuality with someone else’s.

 

"Compare" Yourself To Yourself

Challenge yourself in the areas you want to improve! Chances are, you already have! I have kept a journal for years, and once in a while I'll go back and read entries and see how much I've changed and grown. I'll pour over the stories of challenges I've overcome and am encouraged. 

 "But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour. For each will have to bear his own load." Galatians 6:4-5

 

Steer Away from Social Media

Let’s talk frankly for a second. While “Keeping up with the Joneses” has always been a thing, social media has increased our awareness of what everyone is doing. But here’s a secret: most people just post the best versions of themselves. I was talking to a friend who was recently on a trip. I was telling her how fun her trip looked based on the photos and such she was posting. She looked at me blankly and said, “I actually had a terrible time. I only posted the fun-looking stuff to make it seem like I was having a blast. Social media only sees the best parts, not the real story.”

I have since decided to stop scrolling excessively (or obsessively) through social media because every time I do, I'm tempted to want the lives I see through my computer or phone even though reality may not be portrayed.

 

Remember that Photoshop Exists

If you, like a lot of people on this planet, struggle with comparing yourself not only to the lives of your friends, but to the images plastered on billboards, in magazines, and the stars who lead seemingly perfect lives, remember that most of the time, these things are far from reality. For years we have been trying to reach impossible beauty and lifestyle standards - all in vain. Remember that we are all unique and that the images that are thrown at us at every side are often made to appear better than they truly are.

 

Move On - You’re Wasting Time

You only have so much time in a day! Why waste even a minute loathing in self-pity and wallowing in sadness as a result of comparing yourself with others?

 

Be Happy for People

Genuinely rejoice for others’ successes and blessings. This will make it hard for you to be resentful towards them for something you cannot help. 

 

Read the Scriptures

Read God's Word! There are so many promises and verses that tell us how precious we are to God. Among those is one of my favorites that reminds that while men look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

 

bible promises
 

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? What helps you? Let me know below in the comments!