Embracing Your Seasons of Life
By Jill Briscoe
I love this season of my life! I am not quite sure if I am in autumn or winter, but I don’t want to backtrack and I don’t want to fast forward—I want to revel in this place. I have a good measure of health and a world of opportunities at my feet. I have chances to use the wisdom accumulated from being in ‘the school of hard knocks’ in ministry, learning curves to challenge me, and hopefully a barrel-full of encouragement gleaned from others, to share with people who need it along the way.
I am so thankful to God to be living in this “Grace Place.” Three children in ministry, their spouses, my sweet friends; thirteen grandkids who love the Lord, and a partner and love of my life for 50 years who is a Jesus lover, glory giver par excellence, and of course my favorite preacher (and leaning post)! It is he who ever urges me on to go for the gold. This is a great place to be.
This in no way means there are no fights to be fought, no fears to be overcome, no problems to be solved, no challenges to be faced, no relationships to be fought for or sorrows to be borne. I suppose I could say I have never been so stretched beyond myself, so ashamed of my little faith, so lacking in knowledge that should have been learned, and so infantile in prayer skills. Yet this is still a great place to be!
When you are 73 years old, as my husband says, you realize you have more history than future. This causes one to be reflective. That is why I have chosen to write much on the interior places of the soul and what goes on down there. To meet Him whom my soul loves and revel in Him has become an urgent daily need. I want to know Him; I want to know Him more. “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death...” (Phil. 3:10). In other words, I want to be more like Him and less like Jill.
I also notice certain Scriptures I never noticed before. Like “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He; I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isa. 46:4). And “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psa. 71:18). It is this latter one that most often comes to mind in this season of my life.
The next generation. This is the season for me to throw everything I have into declaring His power to the next generation. In Acts 13:36 it says of David, “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.” I don’t want to fall asleep (a euphemism for “dropping dead”) until my work is through.
I want this next generation to know He has the power to save to the uttermost, equip the saints to do the work of the ministry, comfort the desperate, heal souls decimated by pain lived in this period called life after the Fall, and use us all to turn our world upside down for Him. Above all, I want to remind all who are younger than me (and that’s an awful lot of people) to be busy proclaiming His power to the generation coming after them.
I want to shout it from the housetops, write it down on paper, put the message into all possible forms of communication, take all chances to talk with individuals, never leave home in the morning without a holy expectation that there are people to talk to about His power before my head ever goes on the pillow at night. That’s why this season gets a whole lot more urgent!
So which season are you entering, exiting, or in the midst of? Whatever the season, I trust you will be able to say as I can, “This is a great place, and a grace place to be!” What are you learning, giving, experiencing? Embrace it!