To Everything There Is A Season
What Season Are You In?
Sheila M. Herron
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace”.
Thanks be to God, my Father and intimate Friend, who gives me life, who cultivates my gifts, who illuminates my spirit, and who gives me strength to endure through all things.
To Him be the glory forever!
To my family, thank you for your patience, support, and understanding while on this journey.
This book is dedicated in loving memory of my nephew Ayreck Tramaine Allen Lockhart
October 23, 1977 - February 25, 2002
“Ayre’ Boo, I’m finally doing it! Thanks for the encouragement that you gave. I’ll see you in Paradise.”
A Prologue of The Samaritan Woman
Chapter One: Winter, The Season of Hybernation
As I read Ecclesiastes 3, the Lord enlightened my eyes to much wisdom in this passage of scripture. He showed me my very own life in a flash, from creation to death, that is; spiritual death, and from new birth to rebirth.
He took me in the spiritual realm and showed me the different spiritual seasons: seasons of drought, seasons of hybernation, seasons of blooming, and seasons of rain.
God has purposed for everything under creation to have a season, from nature and wildlife, to humanity; we all have our seasons.
What is a season? A season is a period of time that’s revealed between two eternities. Within time there are four periods called seasons, these four periods are: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.
During the beginning of the year 2002, the Lord gave me the word, “Pruning." He led me to Isaiah 41:15 that says, “See I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth.” He later gave me the interpretation: “I am sharpening what I have already put in you, and cutting away that which is not My work. With every trial will come purification, but at the same time, suffering and persecution. Look at the rosebush, with its full beautiful blooms, and how quickly it changes to intertwined branches that loses its petals, and sheds it’s dead leaves.
The rosebush with all of its outward beauty, and sweet smelling fragrance, must go through a metamorphosis. The rosebush has to be pruned and prepared for reproduction in its due season. The Lord equated that rosebush to me.
The dead leaves symbolized dead issues in my life that had been lying dormant for years. The intertwining branches were various relationships and associations that I had with people and things. Some were generational and some of my own will. However, they were stunting my spiritual growth. The falling petals represented the separation from God that those soulties were causing.
Eventhough I had been saved, I was not growing. Being saved is just the first step to salvation, but sanctification is an extensive process. It is a daily walk, a journey of examining your soul and killing the flesh, of walking by faith and not by sight, a determination and a desire to walk in the Spirit and will of God.
It requires not only a relationship with God, but also a fellowship with Him. You may ask, “What does that mean”? I’ll explain. You see, a relationship is established through a connection by blood or association, but a fellowship is an intimacy between two people.
All of us were born into a family through a blood relationship, but that does not necessarily imply that we would want to fellowship with every family member. Thats the way it should be, but because of different interests, personalities, and lifestyles, it does not happen that way.
A fellowship with God means that you have established an intimacy with Him. You become intimate with Him by becoming more familiar with His character or nature. It is a bond between Father and creation. Just as the earthly parent bonds with their newborn. As you grow in the faith, He nurtures you along the path, protecting you from those bumps and falls. You acquire a desire to obey Him and not grieve Him. You trust in Him, depend on Him, and communicate to Him your true feelings and shortcomings. Through this process, He humbles you and He becomes the center of your life.
I have experienced suffering, lost friends and material things, and I even went through physical changes. There were times that I had withdrawals and times where I wanted to give up because the tension was so intense. Dying to the flesh is not an easy process as some would say, because you must separate from things that the flesh desires.
Like Job, the enemy exposed me to a realm of darkness that I had never seen. I found that there were people in the Kingdom of God who struggled with the same issues as I. I also found that demonic activity goes on in the church. Just as angels are present, so are demons and believe me they are waiting for the saints to leave an opening so that they can come in and attack. What appears innocent to the natural eye is not necessarily innocent to the spiritual eye.
While I was busy judging, others, I was being judged. Sanctification is not in the appearance on the outside,it starts on the inside and works its way outwardly.
The beautiful butterfly that is so pleasing to the eye, starts out as an egg, it then becomes a caterpillar, and after several weeks, the caterpillar enters into a pupa, which encloses in a silken case called a, “Cocoon." This cocoon is the resting stage for the insect, it has no formation yet, it is fragile, and it is a seemingly lifeless mass. From weeks to months, the cocoon slowly breaks apart and what was once a caterpillar, has now transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
I illustrated this to say, sanctification is not an overnight process, you start out by being surrounded in all of your mess, but in the end, you become what God desires you to be.
Sanctification is not in the clothes that you wear or how loud you can shout or speak in tongues. Neither is it in whether or not you are the first or only one to kneel at the altar.
We must cast off being self-righteous and become Christ-centered. When we become Christ-centered, we will desire to please Him in everything that we do, from what we wear to how we worship and treat others.
God allows us to go through trials so that we can exhort one another in love, letting them know that we too can relate to them, showing them that they also can overcome. We are not to chastise or condemn that person and act as if we are sinless, all of us have sinned and fell short of the glory of God. We are not perfect yet, but that is our true hope. We are to strive towards taking on the image of Christ who in His perfection suffered for the sake of righteousness.
For my heavenly Father knows the purpose and plans that He has for me. He knows that in order for me to fulfill my calling, that I will have to live out each season to it’s fullest.
I do not regret the fire, for it refines me. I do not despise the trial, for it strengthens me. I do not hate the test, for it enlightens me. I do not neglect or resist the deliverance, for it kills my flesh and resurrects my soul.
The Samaritan Woman
More commonly known as, “The Woman at the Well," the Samaritan woman was viewed in the Jewish community as immoral and sinful. She was to be avoided by many without contact. She was basically an outcast, shunned by many and alone.
Since the Jewish rabbis were instructed not to look or talk to her, she had no understanding of the Messiah other than He was a prophet to come.
Jesus, out of His compassionate heart, did not look down on her, nor did He shun her. He instead humbled Himself and took time with her, not making her feel any lower than He. He felt her hurt and knew her loneliness; He knew that she was trying to fulfill a void through her various relationships with the village men.
He offered her a drink of the, “Living Water," that would fill up all the empty spots in her life.
Jesus used wisdom in approaching her and in that moment, where it was only He and the Samaritan woman, He revealed Himself to her. She believed and received, and witnessed what had happened to her, to those who had avoided her. Right there at that very moment, this Samaritan woman was called to minister. God can use you at your lowest point.
I can relate to this woman, I made wrong choices in life, and have been shunned by friends. Therefore I chose to be by myself rather than to have an entourage of friends. Within my isolation, while all alone with God; He revealed His true presence and love to me. He planted a seed of salvation and deliverance, humbled me to a lowly state, wrapped me up in His arms of protection, formed my inward parts to His desire, and set me free.
After the metamorphosis, I came out with power, and I am going into the world by being a living epistle for God and winning others to Christ.
Like the butterfly, while in the cocoon, I had many days of travailing and lamenting. I became restless like a pregnant woman in her last trimester, but there was a breaking that had to take place before I could birth this book.
“Father I so graciously and humbly lay at your feet. I thank you for the process of sanctification. I remain humble before you, trusting in you at all times. In my times of loneliness and fear, I still praise you. Thank you for the transformation, when others see me they will see You."
To God be all the glory!
Winter, The Season of Hibernation
Winter is the coldest season of the year. It is the season where animals hibernate, birds fly south, trees shed, and flowers die. All of nature slows down for the winter.
~~~A Time to Die~~~
This in the spirit realm is a season to surrender, a season in which the soul is to yield and be set free. It is a season of hybernation, meaning: this is a time to go before the Lord in honesty and trust, and ask Him to shine His light and expose those dark areas in your life. This is a time to allow the flesh to die with all of it’s weaknesses. It is in this season that God cultivates the soil in which He planted the seed of salvation. He goes in and roots up all of the thorns and thistles that are smothering out His seed and He breathes, once again, the breath of life into you; causing that seed to come alive and grow. This seed consists of the, “Fruit of the Spirit” which is found in Galatians 5:22. The fruit contains the nine characteristics of God which are, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
This is a time in which we are broken, God, like a heart specialist, explores every artery of the heart, finding those arteries that are clogged up with unnecessary stuff that could cause heart failure. The stuff that is causing the hinderances to your spiritual walk for God.
The prophet Jeremiah said of the heart, that it is deceitful of above all things and desperately wicked, following that comment he asked, “who can understand it?”
We were born with a corrupt heart because we were born into sin through Adam. Our natural tendancies are to sin, have you ever noticed that the first words that most infants learn to say is “no” and that children have to be trained to obey but not to disobey? It is the sinful heart that dictates to the mind. A person follows the dictates of the heart, the inner man and the attractions of the eye. Any thought, action, or motive that is not in line with God’s Word is a sin of the heart.
A heart that is sinful is leading to a road of destruction. Pride is the number one sin of the heart and God will not tolerate it. It blocks you from seeing the truth, causing you to live a life of deception.
Ezekiel 11:19-20 says, “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a new heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgements and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God”.
Who can understand the heart of man? God, after all, He is the Creator but, in order for Him to circumcise it, we must first understand His heart.
God’s heart is pure, Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”, therefore our hearts must be pure without blemish .
God’s heart is humble, what pleases Him more than sacrifices is a humble heart that looks to Him when troubles crush and penitently pleads for mercy when sin has been committed. When our heart is not humbled, we cannot see areas in our life where God desires growth. As it says in Ephesians 4:18, “Their understanding is darkened, they are alienated from the life of God and ignorance is in them because of hardening of their heart”.
Unlike the physican who has to search for a heart that is compatible to his patient’s, God has the compatible heart with the right Blood type. He does not have to look far, because it is through Him that the heart transplant takes place.
This is also a season of consecration with prayer and fasting, in the natural, one fasts the night prior to their surgery. Being that this is a time in which God is starting His work on us, we need to clearly hear from Him. The circumcized heart will allow for us to become more sensitive to the voice of God. Being that circumcision is a covenant with God, the result of the transplanting of the new heart is an establishment of a covenant relationship with God’s heart and our heart.
As the natural heart needs oxygen and exercise in order to stay alive and keep the blood flowing, so does the spiritual heart need the Word of God to come alive in it and to be exercised in the child of God’s life.
Coming up in life, I was a shy person who later through anguish and rejection, converted to being controlling, self-centered, prideful, and rebellious. I had placed a wall around me to protect my insecurities and no one could come beyond that point. I did not open up to anyone about my true feelings I would instead hide behind a mask and pretend that everything was alright or accepted. At other times, I would lash out at others, when they came beyond that wall of protection, because my space had been invaded. The only time that I would emote my feelings was on paper and the only response that I would get was negative. Therefore my gift of penmanship was placed on the shelf, I thought that writing down your feelings were bad.
I brought these strongholds into my marriage, causing me to be very insecure both with myself and my husband. I did not trust him or any man for that matter. I tried to identify with those that I hung around, if it were a predominantly white crowd, I would emulate the things that they were doing, when offended by them, I became militant and everything was, “The Whiteman’s fault”. I would basically fit in with every group within limits.