Author: Terry Dashner
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” says Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV). God gives us natural laws to convey spiritual principles. For example, there is a natural law of seed sowing and harvest. If I plant a seed in the ground during the right season, I will reap a harvest in due season. This natural principle illustrates a greater spiritual truth: If good is sown, in due season it will produce a good return.
The properties that apply to natural laws may foreshadow spiritual truths also. Again, I illustrate. The properties of farming are known by every good farmer. For example, an experienced farmer knows that there are only four seasons in the year. Only certain things can be done during a particular season. In the winter season, the farmer cannot plant seed. The land is fallow. During spring the farmer does not go to the field, expecting harvest. During the spring season, the ground is turned over and made ready for planting. The farmer has seasons to work in, and they continue throughout his life.
This brings me to the crux of this writing. The people of God go through seasons throughout their lives. This is normal, and it is God ordained; however, many become discouraged in their walk with God because they do not understand this truth. If one does not understand the seasons of faith, discouragement, evenshipwreck, is a real possibility.
If you read the life of a Biblical Patriarch, you are inclined to think that his life is marked by a thrill a minute. This is not true. For every Patriarch of the Old Testament, as well as every Apostle of the New Testament, there are many seasons marked by downturns. For example, the Genesis account of Abraham. The Bible says that he was 75 years old when he traveled to the land of Palestine. Between his 75th and centennial year, there is a lot of downtime. There are only five to six significant events, worthy of Biblical record in these 25 years; however, when one reads the accounts of Abraham’s life and because they follow in tandem, it appears that Abraham is experiencing spiritual apparitions daily. That’s not the case. Again, Abraham had seasons of boredom, frustration, carnality, disbelief, and etc.
Now how does this story of Abraham relate to us and our downturn seasons? The people of God must learn that there are seasons of rejoicing in the Lord, and there are seasons of sheer boredom. As a church pastor, it is important that I advise you of this. Why? So you will not come into a season of “downturn” and think that you are out of fellowship with God. Even in an intimate relationship with another human being, there are times of miscommunication, silence, rebuilding the relationship, disagreements, duties, responsibilities, and etc. Not every experience in the intimacy is intimate.
So what does the child of God do during the downturn of seasons? He or she does not allow discouragement to wreck his or her relationship with God. One must maintain, continue, and persevere. It sounds mundane, but it is true. There are seasons of downturn in one’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. Remember this. God does not forsake you through the downturn seasons. In fact, He allows the downturn.
The downturn does several things. For one, it denotes a changing of one season to the next. In the downturn, stay steadfast before God and rejoice in faith that a new season is on the horizon. Secondly, it tests your faith. Can you trust God—pray to Him, serve Him, attend church or mass—even during the difficult days? Or does the downturn show you something displeasing about yourself—you serve Him only when you are happy? Thirdly, the downturn gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your humanity. Even Jesus needed time alone from the crowds. Even Jesus needed rest and proper nutrition. No matter the experience of spirituality in this life, downturns are inevitable and necessary. Do not fight against the downturns of life. Recognize them for what they are and go with the flow.
Author: Terry Dashner
Pastor Terry Dashner serves in a small church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He has served in that capacity for two decades. He is married to his high school sweetheart and together they have three grown children and six grandchildren. He is a proud Vietnam Era veteran, retired law enforcement officer for the state of Oklahoma, and currently heads up the HR program for PHONEDOCTORS®. He is a published author and currently writes blogs for his company.