Lessons I've Learned From the Wilderness Season
Ah, the beloved "Wilderness" Season. The season of waiting, when let's be honest.
Who LIKES to WAIT?
No seriously. Tell me, WHO in their right mind can ENJOY waiting?
Ah, the Wilderness Season. When all hope seems to be lost. When it seems like absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing is happening. Situations get out of control (like, really bad). People get on your nerves!
Confusion about life decisions begin to set in. Unexpected chaos seems to spring around every corner, only to become a Never-Ending Story (which btw is one of the best movies of all time, along with "Labyrinth", of course).
But Here's What I've Learned from the Wilderness Season:
ANYONE who is going to amount to much or anything in life - especially someone who has a BIG CALLING on their life, M-U-S-T go through it.
Period. Das it. Whether you like-it-or-not.
Oh, did I forget to mention? It won't just happen once. Haha, oh no.
Throughout your life you will go through SEVERAL SEASONS in fact. One of my favorite quotes of all time is:
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Preach Martin Luther King Jr., 👏 PREACH!
The Wilderness Season is Not Going to Be Fun UNTIL!
You Change Your PERSPECTIVE:
Perspective = HOW U LOOK @ THINGS
There have been SO many businesses I started or job applications which I sent, where I didn't see anything - not a single thing - happen and felt I must have wasted my time, or made a mistake.
There have been SO many times when I freaked out about not having enough money in the future and had to stop and question if God was really out there (despite all the INSANE miracles He's done in my life) and if I could actually trust God with my family, my finances, my future spouse (yo, where you at bruh?)...
With all these endless questions came a lot of:
>> COMPLANING <<
>> FRUSTRATION <<
>> DEPRESSION <<
>> SADNESS <<
>> WEIGHT GAIN <<
>> UPSET STOMACH <<
>> DISENGAGEMENT <<
>> DISILLUSIONMENT <<
>> DISSATISFACTION <<
>> HOPELESSNESS <<
>> NO PEACE <<
>> FEAR <<
Sure, you don't say anything to God for a while...cause i'mma PRAISE Him in the storm, heyyy! But then, when all hell breaks loose, the floodgates of despair are unleashed, and you are literally at your LAST STRAW. You get down on your knees, pray to God and say something like this:
"JESUS HELP ME! GOD, CAN'T YOU MOVE FASTER?! COM'MON MAN! LET'S GO. LET'S DO THIS! I'M READY! PLEASE LORD! ARE YOU LISTENING? SHOW ME SOMETHING, PLEASE! I FEEL LIKE I'M GONNA DIE!"
And God's like:
"Haha, you. YOU think YOU'RE READY? I made the SEA, the SKY, the UNIVERSE, the very BREATH in your lungs. I formed you in your mother's womb, I know every hair on your head, and I know the beginning AND the end (aka THE FUTURE). And YOU think YOU'RE ready? Ok then. GET READY. Let's see what you're REALLY made of."
Next thing you know, it's like you're in a pot of hot water that now begins to boil. Things at your job just start to get really bad. You or your family member gets sick. Your parents are on the verge of divorce. Your sibling is on the verge of suicide. Your cat gets sick and dies. Your co-workers mistreat you. Your client decides they don't want to pay. You are out of a place to live and have no place to store your furniture. Your friend's mom just got cancer.
Bad things happen all around you. You ask,
"GOD WHERE ARE YOU?! WHY is this ALL HAPPENING to me? I'm a GOOD person!"
Well, so was Job. So was Moses. So was Abraham. So was David. So was my homie Paul. So was Mary. So was Joseph, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Esther, Ruth...and the list of biblical heroes (people who were nobodies, which God called and after years of trials, became somebody's) goes on and on and on.
AND SO WAS JESUS.
They ALL - 👏 EVERY. 👏 SINGLE. 👏 ONE OF THEM - H-A-D to go through a WILDERNESS AND SEVERAL TRIALS and HARDSHIPS BEFORE they made it to their supposed "promised land".
BECAUSE THEY HAD A
>> CALLING << ON THEIR LIFE!
God Was PREPARING Them:
Their trials, tribulations, difficulties, and hardships were:
- THE TRAINING GROUND FOR WHAT HE HAD PLANNED FOR THEM IN THE FUTURE TO STEP IN
- THE DRESS REHEARSAL FOR THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE TO COME
We have this saying in the music industry that I teach to all my students. If you make a mistake in your lesson, rehearsal or at your dress rehearsal, that's OK. It's actually good cause you learn the BEST from your mistakes.
Mistakes Help You Learn:
1.) What you're good at
2.) What's not working
You need to focus a portion of your practice time on:
(1) what needs to be fixed
(2) staying encouraged and actively reminding yourself of your own unique strengths and that you're doing a good job!
Encouragement Is All Over The Bible:
Here's what my homie, the apostle Paul wrote.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Q: Who was Paul?
A: Paul (who's birth name was 'Saul', but got changed to 'Paul' after his encounter with Jesus) was a hardcore Jew from the Israelite tribe of Benjamin (think of it as a Prize #1 Purebred dog breed).
He was so upset at the Christians for spreading this "false news" that the Messiah had come and was this Jewish dude named "Jesus", from the town of Nazareth, who was then crucified and died as an innocent man because of this (crucifixion was the most severe death penalty, reserved only for the worst of criminals back then), and hundreds of witnesses were saying they actually physically saw him come back to life AFTER he was crucified and completely died - dead as a door knob - blood spilt and all, on the cross.
Paul actively began seeking out Christians and was MURDERING THEM, in order to try and stop them from spreading this "false ideology". But he couldn't - because it wasn't false. The good news of the Gospel has power, the blood of Jesus has power, and The Holy Spirit, who Jesus sent us before he returned to heaven, has DYNAMITE power.
On his way one day to kill some more Christians, Paul was walking to the city of Damascus (now the second largest city in modern day Syria) when post-resurrected Jesus suddenly BLINDED Paul (must've sucked for Paul, but hey, it was the very thing he needed at that moment). After three days, Jesus then opened his eyes:
"As he [Paul] neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,
“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul [Paul] stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
- Acts 9:3-9
Paul, in an instant, now knew Jesus was the real Messiah to which all the Jews were waiting for. He then became the lead person God used to spread the Gospel of the Messiah's arrival to the entire world.
He went on several missionary journeys, first to the Jews, pointing them to the Hebrew scriptures in the Old Testament where Jesus had fulfilled the hundreds of prophesies. But when his own people (the Jews) constantly rejected him and these "new sayings", Paul then went on to spread the Gospel to non-Jews (aka Gentiles). Don't get me wrong, a handful of Jews believed, and therefore got saved. But the majority didn't.
Jews today, who believe Jesus is the Messiah (Hebrew: Yeshua HaMashiach), whom the Old Testament prophets and Israelites were waiting for, are called "Messianic Jews" or "Completed Jews".
Paul started/planted a bunch of churches in modern day Turkey and Greece, and was thrown in prison a LOT because of this. Prisons back then were SO NASTY that the sewage from the city went in them. (Think of a port-o-potty in your bedroom. Sweet dreams!)
It was while he was in jail that Paul went to write 66.6% of what we now know and have as the New Testament. In this letter to the Church in Philippi (which is modern day Turkey), Paul wrote to encourage them and us today as believers:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4: 6–7 (NIV)
Paul really inspires me. He was a true example of how your life can really suck, major-league around you, but with Jesus Christ, you can still have love, joy and peace. No matter what.
Paul was a living, breathing, testimony of the power of the Gospel, which has to power to completely transform our lives and all the amazing things God will do through us if we surrender our lives to Him.
To you reading this right now:
STAY OBEDIENT TO GOD
IN CHARACTER, THOUGHT, AND ACTION.
STAY IN THE WORD,
WHICH IS THE TRUTH,
REVEALS GOD'S AMAZING LOVE TO US,
GIVES US HOPE WHEN ALL HOPE SEEMS LOST
& GIVE US THE MOST AMAZING GUIDANCE FOR TODAY.
STAY PATIENT. STAY HUMBLE.
As long as we do well in the actual performance, that's what matters the most. (The actual performance btw is when we get to heaven, while our lives right now on earth are the "dress rehearsal".)
Back when I used to be an opera singer (but God had way better plans for me), if I did really well in a rehearsal...I'd get worried that I wouldn't perform as well at the performance.
This is a LIE that we cannot give into, or give our thoughts any further access to.
If you're doing really well in rehearsal, that means you're:
(1) Doing good
(2) Should reward yourself in a small way (getting yourself coffee, getting a gym membership, doing your nails, treat yourself!)
(3) Need to keep focusing on doing the same thing that's working
(4) Stay encouraged by reading the Word (God's love letter to us), staying in community, serving, praying daily, worshipping God through spoken word, speaking the Bible out loud, singing and praising Him, doing the last thing God told you to do - and REPEAT.
Here's the problem. When everything is working, we can get:
>> COMFORTABLE ... which EQUALS = BOREDOM <<
Not only will work become boring, but serving at Church becomes boring and a hassle.
Now loving others becomes too difficult to do.
Now it's hard to wake up in the morning because you don't have any goals set or any motivation.
You find it hard to get out of the house, or workout and now you've taken the focus OFF of God and onto who? Yourself.
How do we fix this? » CLICK HERE « for my blog (COMING SOON) on how to "Get Out of a Rut".
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