Life is filled with seasons, and a season is a marked period of time. Look back over your own personal history, and you’ll remember plenty of them. Seasons of heartache, seasons of insecurity, seasons of triumph, seasons of poverty, seasons of sadness, seasons of joy.
Sometimes you’re in a season of darkness, which I would characterize as a period when you’re confused about who you are, where you are, or where you’re going. It’s when the world and life seem too big for a little piss ant like you to find any meaning. It’s when the hope and idealism that once drove you is covered over by the dense clouds of personal despair.
First, you must recognize that this is only a season—it’s not permanent—and the hope that you once had is still available if you’ll keep making your way through the howling wilderness of this dark period.
If your child tells you, “I ALWAYS have to do this,” you’re quick to tell them, “Don’t exaggerate.” Well, now it’s time to tell yourself that. The season isn’t forever, so stop exaggerating and whining that it will be.
Stand on Solid Ground
Second, you must find your footing on the solid ground of basic life principles, and that means focusing on the primary areas of life that provide you personal security such as employment, finances, good health, and strong relationships.
In other words, during a dark season, you want to be sure you keep the primary areas of life strong. For example, you might be confused about your life direction, a recent divorce, or the death of a loved one, but during that season you can still keep yourself mentally strong if you’re eating right, training hard, focused on work, and staying close to people that build you up.
Build Your Confidence
Third, you have to build your faith, and faith is a strong confidence in something that hasn’t materialized in your life. Faith sees possibility and not impossibility. When we get frustrated over not being able to achieve something, we tend to exaggerate and say, “It’s impossible!” But, if someone else is living whatever it is you’re after, then it’s not impossible.
You build your confidence by knowledge and practice. The more you know about something, and the more you practice what you know, the more confident you are about being able to achieve it. During a dark season, you should immerse yourself in learning.
Remain Steadfast and Unwavering
Lastly, you must have patience, which the ancients referred to as longsuffering, and it is the ability to endure and tolerate difficulty over an extended period of time without allowing yourself to get upset. Exasperation will only add more days to your dark season.
Try not to allow the length of the season to drive you to frustration. If you allow yourself to get upset, it’s only because the long season of not seeing your hope realized magnifies that part of you that you’re warring against. What happens is that you turn on yourself, and if you do that, you’re working against the only person that can change your life—you.
You must be steadfast, which means “firm and unwavering”, and you can only do that if you keep in mind what I wrote above. Here’s a breakdown of the principles:
- Recognize that a season is not permanent, so stop exaggerating.
- Keep the primary areas of life strong (health, job, finances, relationships).
- Build your faith by knowledge and practice.
- Remain patient and steadfast.
Never give up!
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