When We Want Out

Michael Beck

We categorize seasons in our life as bad or good; difficult or pleasant; trying or uneventful. If we had our druthers we would choose the latter over the former anyday. When we are in those unpleasant, trying seasons we cry out, “How long, O Lord!” Paul wanted the thorn in his flesh removed sooner rather than later. David rose to the challenge of Goliath, but eventually grew weary of the relentless pursuit of Saul. Sarah got to the end of her rope and decided something had to be done to exit her season of barrenness. Elijah thought that the showdown on Mount Carmel had brought his fugitive days to an end. Life does not follow our script. So often we’re “done,” before God is done.

It is important to recognize the danger of weariness in a wearing season. We can “drop out” spiritually of a “classroom” that God would have us in for a “little” while longer. There is no benefit gained by just physically “going through” something. Fruit-bearing requires the right attitude. Our Father is the husbandman and would have us be trees planted by the rivers of water who bring forth fruit in every season. He wants is to prosper always. Paul said he was instructed “everywhere” and in “all things.” (Philippians 4:12) Yes, life has different seasons, but those seasons are also of varying duration, that more often than not, we have little control over.

It is so easy to look at the downside of a “bad” season, but God wants us to look at the upside. The more difficult the season, the more precious the fruit. Be assured, seasons end. The storm ends. The sun comes out. The wilderness is passed through. But the greater question will be: what fruit has been developed in our life through that ideal opportunity to grow; what gold has been gained in the fellowship of Christ and His sufferings. We are to redeem the time because the days are evil. Before we know it, winter will have given way to spring; want to plenty; mourning to dancing.

May we learn to rejoice in seasons of trial and embrace them for spiritual purposes known perhaps only to God. Weariness breeds murmuring and faintness of heart. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Rejoice evermore. We can not only endure, but flourish, in every season of life only through Christ who strengthens us. By His Spirit within, let patience have her perfect work. Submit yourself to the purging work of the husbandman, who would bring forth more fruit that glorifies Him. Don’t tell the Potter when He should take you off the wheel. You are thinking of comfort; He is thinking of honor and glory.

Has that extra mile just appeared? Has that season you were hoping to be over just been prolonged? Don’t let your hands hang down. Strengthen those feeble knees. Your greatest fear should not be another mile in a weary land, but leaving the desert with nothing to show for your trouble.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.