Transitions Series

The Place Before The New Season

changing seasonsI feel like I am in the place right before a new season begins.  I know I have talked about seasons before, but it is now registering that the place in between seasons is just as important as the new season.  I could go on and on about why I feel like I’m in between seasons, about the job-related woes I’ve been facing lately, about the growing pains and about even the blessings and lessons that have been bestowed upon me by our Amazing God, but I think I just want to encourage you to not rush that new season and to not be rattled by the distractions and the pressures of the season you are already in as well as don’t be afraid of the responsibilities, challenges or what seems impossible that comes with the new season.

You see the Israelites were in that place before a new season began too.  They had been enslaved and oppressed by the Egyptians for a long time and they cried out in misery. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.  And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.  So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7-10 NIV) God preserved a Hebrew baby’s life and this baby’s destiny led him to Pharaoh’s house, to a burning bush, and then to the elders of Israel.  “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.  And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’  (Exodus 3:16-17 NIV)  Moses and the Israelites were in the place before a new season began.

There was uncertainty, fear, and opposition from an arrogant, rebellious king; Pharaoh even increased the Israelites’ workloads and their work seemed impossible to accomplish.   Pharaoh said, “Lazy, that’s what you are—lazy! That is why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’  Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks.”  The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.”  When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”  (Exodus 5:17-21 NIV)

Leading the Israelites out of Egypt was an overwhelming task in Moses’ eyes; he was trying to pass it off (Exodus 4:10-13), and when Pharaoh increased the workload and Israelite overseers complained to Moses and his brother Aaron, he got discouraged and complained to God.  Even though the place before the new season can have some discouraging and overwhelming moments, it is also a time of preparation (Moses was being prepared to lead the Israelites), promise, a chance to grow closer to God and for Him to show His glory as well as a chance to unite as a body of Christ.  Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.  (Exodus 4:29-31 NIV) God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord.  I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, [a] but by my name the Lord[b] I did not make myself fully known to them.  I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners.  Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.  (Exodus 6: 2-5 NIV)

We all know after several plagues and the death of all of the Egyptians firstborns, including Pharaoh’s firstborn, God’s mighty hand rescued His people and Pharaoh sent the Israelites away.  The Israelites left with not only the clothes on their backs but with what we call reparations today.  Praise goes right here!  That new season looked like it would never come but God is a covenant keeper, keeps His promises and reminds us that there is a time and a season for everything so that means whatever you going through, that too shall pass.  I am reminded of another Israel account of them being in between seasons.  It was when Joshua, Caleb and other men from the tribes of Israel were sent out to investigate the land of Canaan, the Promised Land.  When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country.  See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many.  What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified?  How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)  (Numbers 13:17-20 NIV)

But what happened?  The men, except Caleb and Joshua, came back with a bad, discouraging report causing the people to rebel and complain once again.  Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”  And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”  (Numbers 14: 30-33 NIV)  The people complained and cried “if only we had died in Egypt or in the wilderness.”  They even suggested selecting a leader and returning to Egypt.  That complaining, fear, and rebellion cost many of them (except Caleb and Joshua) their place in the Promised Land.  If you don’t keep your focus on God and remember His promises and how mighty He is, you would look at your new season with a distorted view.  You will let fear keep you from moving forward and you will make the process that much more uncomfortable.  That place before the new season begins will be a place of fear and turmoil instead of blessing and lesson.

Dear Daddy,

Help me to not forsake the place before the new season begins.  It is uncomfortable, but it is a process that is needed to prepare me for my destiny.  It is where You can cleanse me and strip me of those things I am unable to carry into a new season.  It is the place where I am to learn patience and grow close to You, trusting in You all the way.  It is a chance for You to show how mighty and how holy You are.  Thank You for Your concern, compassion and strength.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to learn how to abandon self, depend on God, and check your way of thinking while dwelling in the place that precedes the new season.  For the rest of your life, moving forward requires these three things.  Appreciate what this place can teach you, because God does not want you to stay here and when it is time to move, you don’t want to miss the change of seasons.

What transitions are you making in life?

Read related EmpowerMoments:  Seasons and Seasons Change

___________________________________________________________________

Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Advertisements
God's Provisons, Transitions Series

Transitions: My Supply Chain Manager

Have you ever walked around a store and wondered where all of the many items in that store come from or how they get there? For example, think about a familiar place like Walmart. Every item that you “need” has to come from somewhere. You can buy chicken that comes from Tyson and they probably bought the live chickens from some farmer. Your toiletries come from a variety of places such as Proctor and Gamble or Johnson and Johnson, but even the ingredients in those toiletries come from another source. The point is every item in Walmart has to be managed as a part of the supply chain. Before items run out someone has to make sure that they are replenished. They literally have to manage thousands of suppliers to provide for that one store. Similarly, God meets our needs in this way. His word tells us, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

When I wrote the first message in my series on Transitions, Trampled On The Floor, it was about the end of one phase of my journey and the beginning of another; however, it took some time for me to get to that point. Along the journey, I was depleted in many areas of my life. My shelves were almost empty. I was running low on self-esteem, finances, food, joy and motivation among others; however, I never ran out. Just as I would get to a breaking point my truck full of supplies would arrive. God would show me that while I may not be eating the food that I wanted, He would not allow me to go without food. God brought people into my life that were a part of my supply chain. When I was running low on finances, there were people who would just put money in my bank account or in my hand. When my spirit was broken, He sent people to sow words of wisdom, motivation and encouragement. When I was physically drained, He provided a space for me to rest. He was concerned about the smallest detail. I remember one time I was so frustrated about my hair that I didn’t want to leave the house. Some people have bad hair days but I have hair tragedies. One of my girlfriends called and said, “I know what it’s like not to feel good because of your hair so I’m going to pay for you to get it done.” Incredible God! One of my greatest blessings was having shelter even when I could no longer afford it. God absolutely supplied ALL of my needs.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 12:26-30 NIV)

Today I am grateful that during my transition I could plainly see God for who He is and what He does. I knew that it wasn’t my good looks, my charm or my wit that kept me clothed, fed and sheltered. It was really God managing my supply chain. He managed the who, the what and the how it would happen. What I do know is that what God has done for me is what He will do for you. When I stepped out on faith, I didn’t know how my needs would be met, but I am grateful that God had a ready supply chain. More than Walmart, He manages a supply chain for billions of people!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being the supplier of all of my needs. I am grateful for Your unconditional love and the people that You sent into my life when my shelves were empty and I needed to be restored. Please use me as a vessel so that I can be a ready supply for others. Thank You for building my faith during my season of transition. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to look at your supply chain. Take an assessment of your needs and recall how God has supplied each one. Take a moment to thank the people that God uses as vessels in your supply chain. Continue to trust Him even when you feel like your shelves are getting low. Know that just as you feel depleted God will send in a ready supply.

Did this EmpowerMoment make you think differently about how God supplies your needs? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: I Got You

___________________________________________________________________

Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Blessings, Career, Contentment, Employment, Encouragement, Faith, Faithfulness, Goals & Dreams, God's Grace, Miscellaneous, Patience, Patience, Persistance, Preparation, Restoration, Spiritual Therapy, Strength, Transitions Series, Trials, Trusting God

Transitions: Trampled on the Floor

The past few years of my life have been ones of transition, endless waiting and sometimes disappointment. I’ve alluded to and written about it many times. Long story short, I left my job in Texas to start my own business and moved to Atlanta for a three-month transition. In my mind that is all it would take before the business was up and running and I could move to my real destination, Washington, DC (because this is where the business was based). That three months has turned into over two years and I reached a point where I was tired of telling people that I was moving anywhere because I just didn’t know when/if it would happen. As a matter of fact, I actually told people I was moving to Washington, DC nearly two years before I left Texas so in total this has now been a four year wait. If you have had any experience with God you know that many times your best made plans aren’t a part of His plan.

But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Micah 4:12 KJV From my brief study, I found that sheaves are stalks of grain and they were gathered on the threshing floor during harvest time for a two-step process. First the actual grain was separated from the chaff. To do this, oxen would pull a metal spiked sledge that would break the heads of the grain from the stalk or they would just trample them. Next the broken stalks were tossed into the air and the wind would blow the lighter chaff away while the heavier grain would fall back on the floor where it could then be gathered for use.

My time of transition has been like the sheaves on the threshing floor. I went from making a very lucrative salary to making zero, zilch, nada. Months would go by and I had nothing but what I could borrow or get from someone else. My mini-vacations that I would frequently take turned into staycations in my room. I found myself in an “asking” position when I was usually the giver. Shopping excursions were non-existent as my belly became wider, clothes became tattered and shoes wobbled to the side. When I could no longer afford my health insurance, the aches and pains started. I went from being a mover and shaker, featured in Ebony Magazine to feeling insignificant. Finally my car called it quits. Although I grew up poor, THIS was a very unfamiliar position. Throughout this process I have felt a gamut of emotions: happiness, depression, bitterness, envy, contentment and disappointment. I had good days and many bad ones. During the process, I felt beat down and trampled but it was only to extract the good grain. Without the threshing floor, the harvest would be incomplete.

I had to learn more about myself and have many things extracted and tossed so that in the finishing process only the good grain was left in me. Sometimes God humbles you by removing the frills and unnecessary things to get you to the place He has ordained for you. A place where you are truly dependent on Him and can recognize that it is His goodness, and not your own doing, that gets you your blessings.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV Admittedly during this process, my faith wavered; yet, God remained faithful. Did I get everything that I wanted when I wanted? No! However, He absolutely never failed to supply my needs. This month (July) represents a turning point in my life. After a little over two years in business, I received my first paycheck from my business one that will come consistently versus “some” money at any random month. From my time in the threshing process, I know how to use my money wiser so that when God grants me the increase that I need and desire, I will make sound investments versus temporary gratification. My “giving” strategy will be a lot different because when I couldn’t give I realized that people would always find a way without me. It made me realize that I was a resource and not their “source.” I learned that lesson for myself as well. As I sit in a hotel room now after a second trip of apartment hunting in Washington, DC, I have ultimately learned that if we can only learn to trust God and His timing He will prepare us for our harvest.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my time in the threshing process as You prepared me for the harvest. I ask that You continue to let those traits, people and other characteristics that are not useful blow off of me into the wind. Help me to be anxious for nothing because You have told me that in due season I will reap a harvest. You have been faithful to Your Word even in the midst of my doubt. God, I ask that You continue to build my faith as I move into the next phase that You have prepared for me. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to trust Him in the process. Although it’s hard because what you see what’s happening in other people’s lives (marriages, babies, career advancements, notoriety, goal accomplishments, financial prosperity) may seem foreign for your own. Know that He is preparing you for your harvest by extracting those things that aren’t useful for that next phase in your life. Trust that He is faithful to you because it is who He is and who He has always been.

Are you waiting on God and feel as if it is not going to happen? If you examine yourself, is it that God has you on the threshing floor? Share your story with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Seasons Change

___________________________________________________________________

Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.