Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Between The Rains

Have you ever experienced a "drought" in your work? 
Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography
I have -- and I sure hope some else is also nodding their head so I'm not the only one. ;) But truly, have you been there...or are you there now? Are you wandering in a wilderness, low on morale and direction? Or maybe you have ideas by the flood, but giants loom in your way ready to smash opportunity again. You pray. You dare to step out and put seed money behind your idea. Now you're awaiting harvest and it's been a longer wait than you bargained for.

I've met these dry spells in nearly all my cottage industries or business ventures. They typically hit about the second year, when I'm too far in to go back, but still woefully short of seeing results. By that point, the first flush of my enthusiasm has waned, difficulties are rising, funds are evaporating (quickly!) and I knew enough to know I'd never signed up for this if I'd had all this knowledge at the get-go (don't you feel better now knowing you aren't the only one?). I'm standing in the stretch between seed-time and harvest. I'm in between the rains.

So how can we not lose heart while waiting for rain? More than that, how can we use the dearth to grow instead of wilt? Here are some things the Lord has helped me glean during my times of drought.

Reconsider Motives

The truth is not everything we jump into springs from a leap of faith. Dry seasons bring good fire for purifying our motives and testing if we're truly following God's call or our own ambitions. 

 Remain Teachable

When I was sixteen I started a side business that took twice the time, labor and investment I originally thought. Again it was that second year that about broke my spirit to push on. At my lowest point, the Lord blessed me with a breakthrough, but it looked so different from what I envisioned I almost missed it. It took the counsel of my family to penetrate my fog of discouragement and give me the courage to try walking on water again. Oh, and true to nature, the Lord met me out on the waves and used the opportunity I nearly scorned to bless me. No matter how discouraged you become always keep a teachable heart and an open mind.

 Research: Scripture First; Man's Words Next

Sometimes we need a famine to drive us to the Manna of the Word. Whatever questions you are facing in your cottage industry (Am I using the right marketing format, should I take on debt or should I even be doing this?) open your Bible first. Seek your wisdom and knowledge there and God will lead you in the way you should go. 
Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography

After arming yourself with the mind of Christ, research everything you can find that is related  to your field and challenge. Some of it will be folly but some will be full of good counsel; the filter of God's word will tell you the difference.

Respond By Asking

Sometime ago, a friend shared with me a tremendous blessing the Lord gave her after she simply asked Him for it. It convicted me. I too had a writing-related need, but hadn't even thought to seek the Lord for it until I heard my friend's story. Multiple Bible verses promise our Father will answer when we call on Him. Yes, at times that answer is a wait or "I have something better". But what if it is a yes - an abundantly above all you could ask or imagine kind of yes!

 Resolve To Trust

When lack of rain causes the ground to crack beneath our feet the temptation always arises to blame God. Don't! Contrary to pop belief, murmuring against God is sin because it is direct rebellion against His commands to trust Him. Take it from someone who has scooted too close to the hole: you don't want to wallow in this swamp. Instead trust the Lord. If your mind is already twisted with bitterness against Him, repent and ask Jesus to cleanse this unrighteousness from your heart. Take a step toward filling your mind with truth and trust by memorizing Psalm 37. Let your motto be as Job's who said, "though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." (Job 13:15)

Friend, regardless of our work field, there will be seasons of rain and drought. May we fix our eyes on the Captain of our salvation, looking to Him for a reward greater than any earthly business or industry can give.

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  1. I loved this post! It was a refreshing reminder to read -- cause in running more than one business, most often I am going through a dry spell in at least one (in rotation). Thanks for the simple reminders and encouragement to press on!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Amanda; praise the Lord for any encouragement you received!! :D

  2. Excellent post, Kenzi! I was definitely nodding my head over here. ;D Those draughts can be so discouraging. It's comforting to know that God remains faithful and unchanging, even during our seasons of doubts and fears. :) The last two especially stood out to me - respond by asking and resolving to trust. Our memorization verses this week correspond beautifully here: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)

    Thanks again, Kenzi! :)

    1. LOL!! Whew, I wasn't the only one! ;D Thanks for sharing, Patience, and yes how beautifully our verses do go here (hadn't even thought of it until you pointed it out :))!!