During the process of Jack learning to read, there have been times when he was so over the individual letter sounds and blends, telling me “I’m bored of learning all these letters. I just want to read.” While part of me wanted to say trust me, me too… I reassured him that he was doing a great job and that he WAS on his way towards reading. Each letter sound builds each word, forming each sentence. Every step builds on the previous. Master each one and before you know it, you’re successfully lurking all your moms text messages🙄😆 Similar to Jack’s desire to read right away, we too are vulnerable of becoming destination driven instead of allowing each step along the way reach its full potential. Romans 5:3 gives an example of this growth cycle-
“But we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
I remember a conversation between my mom and I shortly after I had found out I was pregnant. I had told her, “You know, I’m really not that intimidated by the thought of having a baby.. I really think I can handle the no sleeping and diapers and all that. But when I think of a 7 year old?? Okay, THAT is absolutely terrifying. I don’t think I can do that. I can’t handle that.” Maybe it was just an ignorant thought, but I’ll never forget my mom’s response as she told me, “Oh honey, that’s why you’re not going to be given a 7 year old right off the bat. You will be ready and able by the time you get there.” Now that we are in fact closing in on year 7, I can tell you that it is indeed monumental, but I do feel more equipped for this next year because of the other 6 leading up to it. I was thinking back on that conversation, all the life that has been lived since, and marveling at how each season has been weaved together. God designed life to be lived in seasons. Perhaps you’ve heard the well-referenced words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,
“There is a special time for everything.
There is a time for everything that happens under heaven.
There is a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pick what is planted.
There is a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up.
There is a time to cry, and a time to laugh;
a time to have sorrow, and a time to dance.
There is a time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones;
a time to kiss, and a time to turn from kissing.
There is a time to try to find, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away.
There is a time to tear apart, and a time to sew together;
a time to be quiet, and a time to speak.
There is a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
In each of life’s seasons, there is something for us to learn or a “fruit to bear.” As Psalm 1:3 says, we are to be like “trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.” The psalm goes on to say, “Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” This doesn’t mean that everything we do will prosper in the material or financial meaning, but that we will thrive in any situation. If we accept each season with a trusting heart and seek to grow through whatever life may throw our way, then we will prosper. We will flourish and grow into the person that God has dreamed for us to be.
Which season of life are you in? Is there something that you are thankful to have learned in a past season, that you can carry into your current season? I would love to hear your thoughts and lessons! Another wonderful thing about “learning our letters before we read” is that although there are certain things we can only learn through our own experience, there are often ABC’s that we can learn through other’s experiences if we take the time to listen.
Scriptures used: Romans 5:3, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Psalm 1:3