‘…be prepared in season and out of season;’ 2 Timothy 4.2
This verse is interesting because it speaks about seasons, but not the physical seasons that make up our calendar year. It is more about a sense that there are times when we may seem more spiritually alive, and other times when we feel a bit duller; seasons when our Christian life seems to bear fruit as opposed to other times when it is harder to spot this.
A real encouragement from this verse is that feeling ‘out of season’ is not our fault. There are some parts of our spiritual life over which we do have control – for example the energy we put into it – but there are some things over which we have little control, and often our feelings come into this bracket.
Yet as well as reassurance, this verse also provides us with a challenge. However you are feeling, and whatever spiritual season you feel you are going through, you are still called to ‘be prepared’. In Romans 13.14, Paul tells us to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus. In other words, to consciously remember that Jesus is present with you, whatever you are feeling, and to call to mind that you have access to everything that is in him. This means that when you feel weak, he is strong; when you are anxious, he is peace and when you feel empty he has everything you need. So remember to be prepared; let Jesus into your life and notice the difference.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission