Seasons. Spring. Summer. Fall and Winter. These are the seasons we have grown so familiar with year after year. There are budding trees and bushes—the fragrant aroma of the beautiful blooming flowers of Spring.
The joy of Summer is when many take vacations and travel, do fun things, explore new places, and revel in all the water activities. Boating, swimming, jet skiing. Diving, water parks, and maybe even cruising to exciting countries if we are fortunate enough.
My favorite of the seasons is Fall. I love it when the weather begins to change. The extreme heat of an unbearable August is slowly replaced by cool, crisp air. Perfect for taking peaceful morning walks as I reflect on the goodness of God blessing me with yet another birthday. Another benefit for me as a collector of hoodies and hoodie t-shirts is that I wear them all in the Fall. In Texas, Fall, and Winter are sometimes blurred together because we do not get much snow in the Winter, if at all, most years. However, we get ice in the Winter, which seems to shut down our city for safety reasons.
As a child, I remember living at the foot of beautiful snow-capped mountains in Western Germany. But I also recall my late father having to dig our way out of three feet of snow in the front yard living in Iowa after a significant snowfall the night before. The snow was fun to play in, and I loved the opportunity to stay home from school on those “snow days” in both Iowa and Kansas City.
I’ve enjoyed the beautiful seasons of nature that God blesses us with yearly. Maybe something this past Summer brought you and your family much joy or a new experience you will remember for years. But what happens when the unexpected season occurs? Maybe it’s a phone call from a relative with unsettling news. Or your lab results from the doctor are “concerning.” What about a “financial challenge” that has put everything you own at risk?
In August, I wrote about the deep depression God pulled me out of last year and inspired me to write and publish another book. The Study Guide to my award-winning book on the power of prayer encourages readers to embrace the power we, as Christians, have via prayer. With everything happening, Christians need to pray powerful prayers that change lives. The Study Guide is currently on sale. (I’ve put a link down below for you to get your paperback copies.)
Speaking of the unexpected changing of seasons in life, I’m currently living through one!
After Labor Day, I was feeling a little disappointed. Higher-than-expected airline prices derailed my plans to take a short trip to the East Coast. I then spoke with a friend about visiting her on the West Coast, but southern California was hit with a hurricane!
What’s Going on, Lord?
So, I decided to stay home and create new healthy gourmet cheesecake recipes! Since my late father was diabetic, I wanted to make desserts he could enjoy. So, I’ve changed how I make my cheesecakes. I updated my carrot cake cheesecake with a pecan nut crust this year. My new flavors are strawberries and cream with roasted pineapple, brown butter pineapple with toasted coconut, and a macadamia nut crust. It’s my new favorite! Although it was fun seeing my friend’s reactions to sampling my new gourmet cheesecake flavors, I was still a little bummed for not being able to get away and experience a change of scenery for a few days.
Little did I know that I would get my “rest” in a different way than I was planning for this Fall. As I went to get in the bed, it was a struggle to lift my left leg into the bed! I’ve dealt with weakness in this leg since the stroke, but now it is accompanied by even more pain than usual. I managed to get both legs in the bed, but a sharp pain in my left thigh radiated through my knee and entire leg. It was unbearable to try and sleep on my side! I rolled my back and cried, “What is going on, Lord?”
I had to get out of the bed. It was late, and I was tired. I sat in the chair in my room, trying to find a way to get comfortable and fall asleep. When I awakened in the chair mid-morning, the pain continued to burn. Both my calves were swollen, and I could barely stand up! I did everything I knew to get the swelling down, but it was a challenge because days later, I could not get both legs in the bed and elevate them. BUT GOD.
Embracing the Unexpected Seasons
Don’t ever deny that God knows everything because He does. I got the idea to speed up my remodeling in the front room of my home and purchase a recliner for the living room. After thorough research, I found one that fit my needs. I could use the money I saved for my “getaway trip” to purchase a recliner and blackout window panels.
Sleeping in the living room has been an adjustment for the past six weeks. The pain was still there at first due to the neuropathy. But I’ve moved things I need into the living room and just today have figured out a way to write again. I’m writing from my recliner now, and my legs are elevated even more as the swelling is slowly going down. God is healing the nerve pain to a moderate level I’ve grown accustomed to over the years.
God knew that this season of change would take place. As much as I hated dealing with this unexpected season of change, I’ve adapted. God has made it more accessible and easier to adjust, and now I embrace this challenge. Yesterday, I got in and out of the shower safely and got on the bed. However, the pain wouldn’t let me stay there very long. So, I’m back in my recliner, writing some words of encouragement for you. ( It seems I have a pinched nerve pressing on my femoral artery, causing weakness and pain.)
Hopefully, a new bed that will make it easier to lie on my back with my legs elevated will help, along with some physical therapy. But I want to help you better handle the unexpected seasons and maybe begin to embrace them. So, I have included FIVE THINGS you can do to help you thrive during the unpredictable seasons in life.
Thriving in the Unexpected Seasons
Control Your Mind. In First Peter, the apostle Peter implores us to gird up the loins of our minds, Meaning to put away the things that prevent us from moving forward. Soldiers had to tuck their garments into their leather belts to prevent them from stumbling.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13.
Count Your Blessings. It is easy to get discouraged or fall into self-pity during the unexpected seasons. However, if we want to thrive during this time, it is easier to do if we count our blessings. You may say, “Horace, what blessings are you referring to, my friend?” Well, again. I’m glad you asked.
How about the prayers of other Christians and loved ones who are praying for you?
And you. You still can pray for others despite what you are facing. Pray for the saints. (Eph. 6:18.)In the Unexpected Seasons of Life, take time to look around you for the blessings of God blooming like a wildflower in a barren desert. Click To Tweet
Continue Your Work. Even though I was adjusting to my new surroundings and sleeping situation, I was still encouraged. I hadn’t figured out how to write comfortably on my computer but could still share excerpts from my Bible reading/quiet time with my followers. In recent weeks, I’ve shared many more quotes from Billy Graham, Greg Laurie, and others, including myself, to encourage and inspire others to keep their eyes on Christ.
During those precious times, my pain wasn’t as bad, and I forgot where I was as I looked to help others in any way I could. By God’s grace, I arranged for my pastor to get copies of my new book for the more recent church members there. I’m excited to see what God does with that moving forward.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter4:10.
Claim Your Promises. The Bible has hundreds of uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging promises. I won’t list them all here, but here are some of my favorites. I hope they inspire you to remember the magnificent promises God made to you, too.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6.
So, I am back at my word for the year, “TRUST.” I may never know why this unexpected season took place, but it’s happening, and I need to embrace it. So, today, I invited a friend to lunch for my famous salmon croquettes. We will watch a movie, hang out, and encourage one another in the Lord.
Consider Your Future. If you follow Christ, this earth is not your permanent home. Jesus promised that He is in heaven preparing a place for us and will return someday to bring us home. How can you not be excited about that? I sometimes wonder how My Savior will ask me to serve in glory eventually. What about you? When you focus on your future, your spirits will be uplifted, and your prayers will be powerful. And your actions will inspire others.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many[a]mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3.
Unexpected Seasons are going to take place in our lives. Jesus promised His followers that there would be challenges. (John 16:33) So, thank God for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, and know He is with you in the Unexpected Seasons, too.
What to read more encourage meant like this? Check Horace’s latest inspirational Christian book on the power of prayer. On sale now for a limited time!
Horace Williams Jr is the oldest son of a pastor who went to be with Jesus in 2020. He is an award-winning author and amateur chef who loves Jesus Christ. His passion for Christ inspires readers to draw nearer to the God who loves them.