Around this time last year (May 2020), there was a large berm of dirt in my yard as a result of a recent home project. It served well as a demarcation line between the lush green lawn and the gravel rock pad. It certainly was an eyesore, yet this berm was a perfect home for an array of perineal wildflower seeds.
Several months later (August 6), my husband sent this picture to me. At the time, Nancy and I were in Georgia for ministry. This ‘once upon a time’ ugly dirt berm was now clothed in the most glorious spender of colors. How magnificent; a pure and tangible manifestation of God’s masterful plan from seed to harvest! “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds,” (NIV 1984).
It is hard to comprehend this beautiful picture was taken just 6 days before Nancy’s emergency surgery, on August 12, 2020. That day proved to be another demarcation line of sorts. Now, a little over 8 months later, this same berm depicts an ‘off-season’! Yet, this too is a tangible picture of God’s masterful plan: “For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off,” (1 Pet. 1:24 / NASB).
These pictures seem to capture the essence of our hearts as we walk through the ever-changing seasons of life. The waiting … the between seasons are not the most glorious, but no doubt, a reality and inevitable.
However, this is not the end of the story! It is a season. Seasons come and go; sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow. Nevertheless, every season passes, the circle of life and death!
- Life: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” (James 4:14b/NIV).
- Death: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” (Phil. 1:21/NIV).
In the ‘off-season’ the raking feels brutal and unending to the heart. And a mist, though it sounds fast-acting, is a process that behaves more like an ocean that challenges every breath. Still, waiting in this off-season will be worth it in the end! “And we know that God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, (Rom. 8:28 NASB).
Let us always remember, God does not have a waiting season, an ‘off-season.’ He is the season! In Him ALL things were created (Col 1:16); He is the beginning and the end! (Rev. 21:6, 22:13). As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1a & 3:11b (NKJV): “To everything, there is a season;” and “No one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Humans cannot escape seasons, but we have His sufficient grace available to us, especially in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9).
I’ve often wondered if Moses ever got really good at waiting. Most people might not realize it, but it was a pretty long waiting period of seasons from the time the Lord said He would deliver His people from Egypt until the time He actually did deliver the people. And Moses, bless his heart. I can’t help but think he would have loved to hightail it out of the desert on several occasions and get to the promised land! Moses knew he had favor with the Lord, but Moses also recognized the value of waiting on the Lord. Waiting on the presence of the Lord! Lord – if YOUR PRESENCE does not go with us …. DON’T send us! (Ex. 35:15).
For those who had the privilege and honor of knowing Nancy by heart, know that Nancy would want each and every person to go forth in God’s calling. Regardless of the season, Nancy was always obedient to go forward. Yet, Nancy would be right in line with Moses’ plead to the Lord: if YOUR PRESENCE doesn’t go, don’t send us!
Needless to say, I, along with so many others, eagerly waited for a different result of Nancy’s healing. Nevertheless, on February 22, 2021, Nancy was healed completely, from glory to GLORY! That is worth every ounce of celebration! Sometimes, the waiting and the seasons linger longer than we anticipate! But we must remember, God has His timeline for all things. In the process, how often have we found ourselves desiring deeper, more, increase; ‘from glory to glory?’ When we hunger and thirst for more of God, we sometimes forget that there is probably going to be a waiting time between glory to glory, or an ‘off-season.’ And the ‘off-season’ may not be pretty, and it can hurt deeply, as if your heart is being raked over like the withered flowers.
We all have seasons, and we all have ‘off-seasons;’ the ‘waiting between glory to glory.’ Still, this off-season is right on time! The waiting will not be in vain if we hold fast! If we believe His Word and trust in HIM regardless of what the season looks like. Only good can come from waiting on the Lord! Our strength will be renewed if we wait for the Lord – wait for His Presence. (Is. 40:31).
Imagine Moses descending from the mountain after speaking with the Lord. He had in hand tablets of glory, inscribed by the very finger of God (Ex. 31:18; 32:16). Unfortunately, the people didn’t hold fast in the ‘off-season!’ They didn’t hold fast in the waiting time. They grew impatient while the Lord was working His sovereign plan. 2 Corinthians 3:7-12 describes this scene also. God had an initial plan, a ‘glorious ministry of the Spirit’ that was full of God’s glory … so much so that the people could not even look at Moses when he came down from the mountain because God’s glory shone so intensely on his face. Still, that glory faded, and in due season, that plan led to doom: an off-season. “So if the old system that faded into nothing was full of heavenly glory, the glory of God’s new plan for our salvation is certainly far greater, for it is eternal,” (2 Cor. 3:11 TLB). We long for a demonstration of glory to glory in this season we are living in. “So then, with this amazing hope living in us, we step out in freedom and boldness to speak the truth,” (2 Cor. 3:12 TPT).
In February’s PTH post (February Faith: How’s your fire? How’s your fan?) I wrote this: “The day will surely come, and she (Nancy) will awake, right on time. And we will continue to do our part for the Kingdom of God, and we wait with great expectation.” It is interesting how things come to pass, but not always how we expect. Nancy’s day came and she was awakened in the most glorious way possible, right on time! And for us? … We wait with great expectation in this season we are in. Let us each do our part for the Kingdom of God.
Where to start? Truth! His Word!
Here are two keys from God’s Word that apply to anyone and can be implemented now, in any season:
1) Step out in freedom and boldness to speak the truth,” (2 Cor. 3:12b TPT)
2) Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-18):
Are you in Christ?
- If yes, then you are a new creation.
- the old things have passed away;
- behold NEW things have come.
… Because of Christ, and according to His Word, WE ALL HAVE A MINISTRY GIVEN TO US: “The ministry of reconciliation.” (vs. 18) In-season and off-season, the ministry of reconciliation is something we all have a part in, because of Jesus.
Personally, I feel like this is a season of intimacy and learning; training and equipping by the Holy Spirit; intimacy rather than intellect. Although, intellect definitely has its place because we need to correctly handle the Word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15) Everything we need is found in the Word of God! “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV).
Everything is in His Word, but we have to be willing to wait and learn to be intimate. Wait for God’s presence!
Philippians 4:4-9 (TPT) provides some very ‘hands-on … how-to instructions.’ Take these scriptures to heart – Spirit man (not flesh):
Verse 4: Stir up Cheer and Joy in EVERY SEASON
- Be cheerful with joyous celebration IN EVERY SEASON of life.
- LET joy overflow. You ARE UNITED WITH the Anointed One!
Verse 5: The Lord is ever near, approaching
- LET gentleness (Greek: fairness; Aramaic: humility) be seen in every relationship.
Verse 6: DO’S & DON’T’S:
- DON’T be pulled in different directions.
- DON’T be worried about a thing.
- Saturated in prayer throughout the day.
- Offering faith-filled requests to God with thanksgiving.
- Tell HIM every detail of your life.
Verse 7: THEN:
- God’s peace will transcend beyond human understanding.
- God will make answers known to you through Jesus.
Verse 8: KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS FIXED & FASTENED ON:
- authentic and real
- honorable and admirable
- beautiful and respectful
- pure and holy
- merciful and kind
- every glorious work of God
- praising Him always
Verse 9: Remember:
- follow the examples imparted to you.
- God’s peace will be with you IN ALL THINGS.
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps,” (Prov. 16:9/NLT). Perhaps it is still in the heart of the Lord to fulfill this mandate in some creative alternate format. We put our trust in our faithful Lord!
Friends, continue with what you know to do, regardless of the season! Continue to let the Lord intimately prepare you for whatever is to come. Remember, God is the SEASON! Continue to pray and intercede for what moves God’s heart:
- Souls for His Kingdom
- His Will upon the earth, as it is in heaven; His manifest Glory!
- For His Light to shine through His sons and daughters.
- Walk by His Spirit and with unity among believers.
- Pray for Israel; Pray for America; every nation! God has a masterful plan no matter what this season looks like to the eye.
- Hold Fast to God’s intention! That all men will be drawn to Jesus – the Light!
I just want to remind us of a couple of points to ponder. These points are gleaned from what the Lord showed some of the PTH prayer facilitators. (The whole list is available in the archived report: “Happy New Year; Dine-In Service! Prayer Strategy”): https://pointtohope.com/?p=719
- Are you doing the same thing, expecting a different result?
- Without ME, you can do nothing! Your country – your future is at stake!
In closing, blessings to all! In whatever season we find ourselves, we know that the Lord reigns! Let us continue to trust and believe in His plans and purposes for each one of us: for His Bride that He is preparing, and for America and every nation! Continue to hold fast to His Word, His prophetic voice, prayer, and one another in love! Let us manifest His Word and our God-given ministry of reconciliation.
Let us walk day by day, knowing that the close of one season, always births a new season, to God’s glory!
PTH Prayer Facilitator
Country Prayer Mandate Update:
Prayer mandate for every country: 06/2008 – 12/2022:
Last July (2020), Nancy and I went to Washington DC prior to our ministry trip in Georgia. While in D.C., one of the objectives was to go to all the possible embassies of the remaining countries we had not yet traveled to (approximately 68). With the onset of Covid, travel worldwide was unpredictable. Thus, D.C. embassies seemed the next best option under the circumstances. Therefore, when we went to each embassy, we fulfilled the prophetic prayer act on site as if we were standing in that country. We almost finished!
21 countries remaining to complete “The 21 Sins Prayer/Repent Mandate”:
I know Nancy’s heart was humbly excited to fulfill every assignment the Lord had called her to do, especially the prayer mandate for the countries. Not because of the size of the assignment, but because of the impact on nations for God’s glory. Many of you have embraced this calling to fulfill the prayer assignment for each country! We all have been a part of this assignment in some form or fashion! The Lord gave Nancy a deadline date of December 31, 2022. With or without direct traveling, we shall see what the upcoming seasons hold.
Lord – if YOUR PRESENCE does not go with us …. DON’T send us! (Ex. 35:15)