I miss the four seasons. In Western Washington, we have a dry and warm summer, with lots of rainy weather in spring, fall and winter. Not always. Breaks do occur. 2 Timothy 4: 2– ‘preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…’ Rain or shine. Good times…and all the others!
The Greek word for ‘in season’ means a divinely appointed opportunity. ‘Out of season’ is the mirror opposite, referring to unwelcome times, sad moments in life, intrusions that turn our worlds upside-down. You know what I mean.
I remember getting a letter from my old denomination telling me that I was not to preach anymore, anywhere. ‘Out of season’. How ironic that dear friends, who were Jewish, offered me their synagogue, urging me to start my own church. How kind! But, no, I wanted some peace. ‘Out of season’ now seemed a permanent weather pattern for me.
But then a pastor friend, from the next town and my old denomination, asked me to preach for him. A tiny patch of blue sky. I did preach for him, and the rafters did not come a-tumblin’ down! I thought I’d better check with the higher-ups in the denomination, hoping that a thaw was truly in the air. That the seasons were changing and I could be ‘in-season’ once again. Wrong!
That’s when that letter arrived in my mailbox. For them I was to be permanently ‘out of season’. What was I to do? Took their toxic missive to our local pastor’s Bible study group. One of them asked me if God had called me to preach. I said of course He had. Then he asked me why I listened to these people. I’ll never forget his next words. Wisely he said –‘if God calls you to preach, you preach!’ Eight words…that said it all.
Went directly home. Wrote a brief note, absent recrimination… resigning from their denomination. Theirs…no longer mine. Almost immediately, the clouds began to move out. The sun started to peek through. And a warm breeze ushered in a new day and a new season for me… from the Lord! Ever since, the doors have been opening wider and wider!
How about for you? Holding back because someone has put you on the upper shelf, saying that you’re ‘out of season’? A dream that you know has been from the Lord that someone has mocked and belittled, causing you to ‘clam up’?
Knock on doors. See what opens and walk right on in! Maybe your daily Bible reading seems ‘out of season’. Read anyway. A new season is coming. Prayer life become stale and rote? Take a few deep breaths and talk with Him. Ask Him, knock on some doors, keep on seeking. Watch what happens. His new season is just around the corner!
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for being our Lord. We love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.