My first flight was From DFW to London, then London to South Africa. I remember looking out the window each time we would begin flying lower as we got closer to landing. Seeing land far away and getting closer and closer is an incredible thing to see. Life is like that at times, we tend to only see in front of us, but God has a thirty-thousand-foot view, so to speak; He sees how everything connects even when we don’t.
Another way we could view our journey in life and, in particular, our spiritual growth is seasons, side roads, and surprises. Seasons are more extended periods that shape and form us. Side roads are times to pick up needed things on the journey, a refreshing, and when the enemy gets involved, those side roads are meant to distract from our destination. Finally, the surprises are things God does that take us by surprise; those God moments that change the course of our lives, bring new insight, and reveal parts of our purpose that went unseen.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 LSB “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven—2 A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.6 A time to search and a time to lose; A time to keep and a time to throw away.7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”
Every season and every side road has something to teach us. We don’t throw off the lesson of one season as we enter the next. Even when the enemy distracts us and detours us, there are lessons to be carried into the next season of our spiritual growth. I’ve mentioned before that keeping a journal can help us understand our development and path. I am not a consistent journaler, but as I have reviewed journals over the last several days, I have seen my seasons, side roads, surprises, and the times when the enemy came in with detours and distractions.
The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift to us as believers; He teaches us the Scripture and leads us in the way we should go. The most crucial role of the Holy Spirit, I believe, is when He corrects us. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we repent; when we get off course, he guides us back on our path, prays for us when we don’t know what to pray for, and more.
It’s easy for us to think seasons are disconnected, side roads are wasted trips, and when we catch our breath from the God kind of surprises, our heads are often left spinning for weeks. Yet, we must have faith in God in all of these times. Having faith simply means to trust God; it isn’t blind faith; it’s the acknowledgment that God sees and knows things that we don’t and that He has an understanding that is way beyond what our minds can comprehend.
Meditate on the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 LSB “Trust in Yahweh with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
Take time once or twice a year to review your journey and ask the Holy Spirit if you’ve gotten off course and how to correct it. Of course, the enemy will try and make you feel guilty for needing correction, but correction is a blessing. Scripture says the Lord corrects those He loves. Receive correction and direction as the blessings they are and walk in the path, and do the good works the Lord has ordained for you to do.