From the beginning of 2013 till the end of 2015 I had the opportunity to attend Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney. Those three years gave me amazing life experiences, changes and growth. They were also a time of preparation for my next season.
The college schedule was tight, filled with classes, assignments, serving in church on Sundays, occasional evening programs and regular practicum. Due to my chronic illness I also had to go to my dialysis treatments for a half day, three times a week. To fit everything in with the full college schedule I had my treatments on my days off.
Not having a full day off for such a long period of time was hard. I often wondered if it was worth the sacrifice, energy, motivation and perseverance. I often wondered if people knew what I was going through. However, even though it was hard, at times so hard that I wanted to quit, I was glad that I pushed through and finished well!
I actually finished better than I thought. When I graduated I had the blessing of being honoured with the Victoria Pearce Award for determination & courage. I`ll never forget that moment. I cherish it in my heart and I remain so grateful for the people that honoured and supported me back then!
Have you ever been through a season when you had to wait for the benefit of what you had done? Maybe you are still in that season now?
One of the most encouraging Bible stories to me is the life experience of David before he became king. The story is found in 1 Samuel 16. Here’s a brief summary of the chapter:
I imagine David had a hard time as a Shepherd. As the youngest he probably didn`t have as much privileges as his older brothers. He was out mostly on his own day by day, tending the sheep, hearing the same tunes from the sheep, and probably often felt very lonely. He even had to fight wild animals like bears and lions to protect the sheep (1 Samuel 17:34-36).
God often uses our out-in-the-field seasons to prepare and shapeus for what He will call us to do in the next chapter.
I want to encourage you with two simple but significant points about how to stand firm in a season where you feel out in the field.
1. Prepared to be propelled
The out-in-the-field season is a time of preparation.
David’s years in the field might have seemed useless but God used them to prepare him to fight Goliath. David had had to strike bears and lions in the fields, so he knew how to take on Goliath. When he conquered Goliath he received the most honour.
Sometimes we want to strike the biggest, reach the highest or achieve the greatest (aka Goliath) first. But as Luke 16:10 says: “The one who manages the little he has been given with faithfulness and integrity will be promoted and trusted with greater responsibilities. But those who cheat with the little they have been given will not be considered trustworthy to receive more.“ (TPT)
I recall a film scene of an old biplane where the pilot had to start the engine by turning the propeller on the front of the plane. With one hand he pushed the propeller, and with the other hand he pulled a rope, which was attached on a starting wheel on the engine. Pulling the rope was the hardest part. Once the engine started to rattle, he could push the propeller to fully start it.
It’s the same with our lives. God wants to propel us with the little things before we enter into the air – a bigger field, promotion, achievement, responsibility or position.
2. Restored to be released
The out-of-the-field season helps you to be restored. When going through a season of restoration, there is plenty of time to think about you, and you get to know yourself and God better.
There are so many times in my life when I have thought that I was ready for something and it didn’t happen, but later on I was glad that I didn`t get it when I wanted it. Each time God had something so much better in store for me than what I was reaching out for!
I believe, that while David was out in the field all those years, God formed and restored his character and heart. The inner restoration was the result of glowing in health and appearance.
1 Samuel 16:12 says: “So he sent for him and had him brought in (from the field). He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.“ (NIV)
Verse 13 then describes how David while being anointed, the power of God came upon Him. “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah. (NIV – Emphasis my own)
Like the moon and the sun have their set and perfect times to shine, so we humans have God-given perfect times to shine!
Proclaim courage, faith, patience and perseverance over yourself in 2019 when you are living in an out-in-the-field season. Hold on to God`s promises, your time will come! Not only will you strike a “bear” or “lion” but one day you will rule over empires that you`ve never dreamed about ruling!
A blessed New Year.