As I write this, the sand martins are back. They are making their nests in holes along the river bank and flying excitedly over the water catching flies. Soon they’ll be rearing their young. For us, spring has only just started but, for them, their new season began some weeks ago when they felt the urge to migrate and fly from Africa to England.
We often find it difficult to adjust to new seasons in our lives. A new season demands changes. It may even demand something of a journey – just like the sand martins. But, whatever the season and wherever they are, sand martins are still sand martins. They don’t change their identity. And, because they are sand martins, they move on with the changing seasons.
When I retired, I hit a problem. My work gave me a number of job-titles. If someone asked me who I was, I would say things like, ‘Rector of St Pancras’. But when I retired, I stopped being any of those things. I had tied my identity, not to who I was, but to what I had done. So, when I entered a new season in my life, I had a problem. Who was I? It was difficult to move on into God’s new season because my identity was stuck in my past.
To make matters worse, God had made it quite clear that he wanted me to drop everything I had been doing, and not to take up anything new until he told me. So, it was no longer an option to try to rediscover my identity by doing the same old things (or even different, but similar, things) in my new circumstances.
How did I get out of this problem? For me it was the same as it has to be for everyone. It’s a matter of revelation. I don’t think anyone truly knows who they are until God shows them. It’s not something that we understand with our mind. It’s not something we just believe because someone has told us, however authoritatively or persuasively. It’s something we know in our spirit, where God communicates to us directly.
Who am I? I’m a child of God. I may understand that as an intellectual truth, but it won’t give me security and self-worth until I know it in my spirit. And, when I do, whatever changes of season God takes me through, I can embrace them gladly, because they are no threat to the reality of who I am.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You that I am Your child. As I face the challenges of each change of season that I need to live through, please speak, deep into my spirit, Your word that I am Your child, and that You are my Father. Amen.
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