What is God Teaching Me in this Season: the 4 Cs

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Yesterday, Linda shared an important lesson on what she is learning in the midst of challenging circumstances, and today I want to share a few things with you as well. I also wanted to share some verses that really encouraged me. I pray they encourage you, too. Many of you may be going through challenging circumstances and asking the Lord questions like, why, what do I do, and how do I refocus when I am stuck? I pray that this message reassures you. Or maybe you are not in a difficult situation, but one day you will be. Perhaps these words will be helpful in the future.

For me this has been a season of letting go and trusting God in new ways. C.S. Lewis once said, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” I know that God uses the difficult things in our lives. Through them He beckons us to come to him in deeper ways and pushes us to truly seek him. I don’t know about you, but in my humanness, hardships entice me to complain, overindulge, or even isolate myself. Yet, God wants me – all of us — to come to him, and he shows us another way. Four words that start with C make up the roadmap He recently gave me.

  • Come

In Matthew 11:28 ESV, it says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Like we shared in our video, (If you haven’t watched it, you can find it here) Linda and I were working diligently to complete a writing project we had been working on for two years. We never planned for the project to take that long, but God knew otherwise. We shared about the various losses Linda and our friends have experienced but there also have been life-giving gifts of joy in the middle of it all.  Personally, I experience times when my husband must be gone for work, which can be trying in our new season of being empty nesters. His job takes him on many assignments out of state, which was manageable when our children were little, and I was busy caring for their needs and schedule. Now as empty nesters, however, life can feel more quiet and lonely.

Meanwhile, Linda and I both have experienced church change that has been hard. It even caused my husband and me to make some difficult changes and that was trying. And there has been sadness over family situations that I can’t fix and timelines pushed back over and over again. Those timeline changes have caused me to question at times Lord, is this what you are calling me/us to? I am such a planner and not good with abrupt change. Yet, that is life. So, news flash: life doesn’t always go as planned.

At times, I have lost my bearings and yet I drag myself out of bed, grab my coffee and press into the Father even more. Do you ever hear the lies, I am not enough or I tried my best, but? I cry out in lament about the things I cannot change and ask God to change me. Last week was a particularly hard week and I repeatedly cried out to Jesus, and he met me in his word, a podcast and friends’ encouragement. He is so good, friends, which leads me to my second C.

  • Cast

Psalm 55:12 NIV reads, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” This has been a season of casting and trusting. Sometimes it is moment by moment, but, friends, God is so faithful.

  • Cling

Another psalm (66:8 NLT) says, “I cling to you; your strong hand holds me securely.” To Cling to God means to hold fast and to keep fixing my eyes on him. Friends, sometimes when situations arise it is a moment-by-moment Casting and Clinging.  It is saying “I trust you,” and it reminded me of Isaiah 26:3.

No matter what storm you are walking through God can give you peace and a steadfast mind. I love this verse in the Amplified version, “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].”

I will often journal my thoughts, feelings and conversations with God. I find it so helpful to later walk through these journals page by page with God. He reminds me of his hand and I remember how He provided for me. Those mementos keep me upright and moving forward.

  • Count the Cost

Counting the cost is a phrase that means what is the real cost to this project, including money, time, effort, and relational aspects. It can also mean to follow Jesus, and it is contrary to the world’s way. Counting the cost can be hard. To lose my life means to humble myself and say to the Lord not my will but yours. In each situation where I don’t have the answer and I am desperate, I feel as though the Lord is saying count the cost, pick up your cross. Don’t look back, look forward at me.

Friends, how we live this one life matters, and we can make the most of each day that God gives us breath in our lungs. So Come, Cast, Cling and Count the Cost.

We know many of you are facing hardships today, and we do not want to downplay them in any way.  Maybe they feel impossible, overwhelming, or hopeless, and you feel stuck. God has only one answer to the problem you are facing – Him! Pick up your cross today! He was marked by the cross before the world was formed. Everything finds focus in the cross.

— Sue M. Lindsey, (c) July 2023

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