Have you ever had those moments when the light bulb goes off and something you thought you understood in the past, you realize that you didn’t really understand it until it hits you again? This happened to me while re-reading Hebrews 12.
I was led to read it because I was sitting in my room one day when the words “what can’t be shaken will remain” kept replaying over and over in my head. I honestly believe the Holy Spirit dropped the verse on my heart, and I don’t know about y’all, but whenever something keeps replaying in my head, I always love to go back and read the entire chapter to really understand the context.
When I read Hebrews 12, I was kinda stunned at how applicable the verses were. It came during a time when I was in a season that I didn’t want to be in. If I’m being really honest, I was miserable. It was April of 2015, and during the time, I would have much rather been applying to medical school that coming May. I would have much rather seemed perfect. I would have much rather moved past the season and experience the harvest. I would have much rather had it all together. You know? The usual. Be in control.
It’s Okay to Be Uncomfortable
But as we grow as Christians, there comes a time when we understand that it’s only a matter of time before an uncomfortable season passes. Even though you won’t always be in the season you’re in, it doesn’t change the fact that you feel angry, disgusted, bitter, hurt, upset, or any other emotion that can be listed under “negative feelings”. And let’s be real about this. Hard seasons are exactly that – HARD. I don’t know anyone who personally likes to experience hard times, including myself!
So, yes. we whine. We get an attitude. We get mad. We throw ourselves an elegant pity party. And just like any parent who laughs at their child having a fit on the floor, I’m sure God does that too. He’s probably like, “Here my daughter goes again. That girl is so stubborn. If only she knew what I had planned for her.”
That brings me back to Hebrews 12. Verses 10 and 11 really drive the point home!
10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Why We Experience Hard Seasons
Sometimes God places us in these seasons because He knows what we need. He teaches us lessons so that He can give us what He has planned next for our lives. For example, If God has an awesome career planned for you where you will be working very closely with people, He can’t give you that career unless you’ve been through a situation where you had to learn how to handle conflict resolution. He can’t give you that career if you don’t know how to love others. So the season you are in may not feel good, but it’s definitely working for your good.The season you're in may not feel good, but it's definitely working for your good. Click To Tweet
So what am I saying? I’m saying that we should be thankful that God’s grace is so sufficient – that He’s patient with us even when we’re upset with Him or the situation we’re facing. We should be thankful that He disciplines us and sees us as His daughters.
Remember when you were younger and you went to the beach? And remember how you would have a pan, would shovel a whole bunch of sand into the pan and then start shaking the pan in hopes that you would find something? Kinda like how people used to pan for gold. They would put everything in the pan and start sifting the pan with water so that all the gravel and dirt would be washed out so that only gold would be left.
My Guess on What God Thinks About Hard Seasons
I feel like God uses us in the same way. Our relationship with God is nothing but a purification process where He is constantly purifying and re-purifying us. He steadily strips us of our pride and dependence on ourselves layer by layer. He removes the excess so that He can mold us into His image.
Just like Hebrews 12: 27-28 says,
27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
The things in our lives that are dirt like broken relationships, pride, broken friendships, and careers that aren’t in His plans are truly worthless to God. And if we take time to think about it, it should be worthless to us too. God is placing us in His pan and shaking us out so that when He is done with us, only the pure and the true treasure remains. And on top of that, He tells us to be thankful!
Let’s be glad that we go through these hard seasons because who would we be without them? We would be more dependent on ourselves and less dependent on God. Just like John 3:30 says,
He must become greater and I must become less.
So here’s to Jesus who disciplines us, accepts us at our worst when we’re having temper tantrums on the floor, and loves us unconditionally. Here’s to the hard seasons that are working for our good and the shaking off of dirt so that true treasure remains!