“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecc 3:1).
“What am I going to do when I grow up?” This is a question one expects of a 10 year old, or a 15 year old, or perhaps a 20 year old. However, as Janice (my wife of 38 years) would attest, I have been asking that question nearly all of my life. It is not that I have been disgruntled or discontent. Well…maybe a little, but curiosity is probably a better word. I have always known that there is something ahead; that my journey has not yet taken me to its logical destination; that some thing or some experience was waiting for me around the next bend in the road.
I consider myself very fortunate that I can look back and see that God has been in control all along and that he has been using all of my life experiences to prepare me for my current phase of life. As an engineer, I learned analytical, problem solving skills. As an administrator, I was forced to develop a budget and make it work. As a Sunday School teacher I have learned to communicate complex concepts with clarity. As a husband, father and elder, I have been learning to feel compassion toward those around me. So now it should be no surprise that I have come around a curve in the road and find myself counseling people about their finances. I would never have guessed it, but of course our providential Father knew all along.
I write these things so that I might possibly be an encouragement to you. I suspect that many of you, like me, travel a road that is not clearly illuminated. It is possible and even probable that God will reveal only what you need to know here and now. God knew that Moses needed forty years of tending sheep to prepare him for shepherding an entire nation. But do you think Moses knew during those forty years what he was being prepared for? I sincerely doubt it and I doubt that God wanted him to know until he was fully prepared.
Life as a believer consists of seasons of preparation and seasons of service. The seasons of preparation are times when God may seem distant, but these are times of growth as we seek him and cling to him. The seasons of service are times when God is near, filling us and using us in powerful ways. These are our mountain top experiences.
Which season are you in?