Have you ever longed for something out of season? A fresh sun-kissed garden tomato in February. A steamy beach on a windy December day. The sunset color of trees when you live in South Florida.
Often, we know that the next season is around the corner, and all we have to do is wait. Beach weather and tomatoes always come back around. South Floridians can always go north for vacation.
It's all manageable.
But sometimes the stakes are much higher, and you simply can't seem to cope any longer where you are.
You crave an end to the relentless depression. You yearn for reconciliation with your daughter. You are desperate for all of the bad thoughts to go away. You endure temptation after temptation and feel it's never going to end. You cannot find a job that affords you to meet your bills. You are seemingly stuck in a season of life where you feel you have no opportunity to change things.
2 Timothy 4:2 speaks of this "out of season" period of life.
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2
The Greek word for "in season" means a convenient or opportune time. The word for "out of season" means inconvenient or inopportune. It is to have no opportunity for what you desire.
Having no window of opportunity is a difficult place to be in life.
Zero ways forward. No favorable moment. Think of a closed door with no way in or no way out. What do we do then? After all, how quickly the flesh seeks to run in bringing hopelessness, despair, and resignation.
It's just too much.
At best, this season of life becomes drudgery, and you go through the motions. At worst, you simply quit and shut down. Either way, you give in to the pain.
Oh please, is there another option besides being at the mercy of life and letting it consume you and spit you back out?
Yes, there sure is.
Therefore, let's approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Hebrews 4:16
The writer of Hebrews urges us somewhere—actually, to Someone.
Who sits on thrones but majesty? We don't run to a piece of furniture. We run to the person on the throne who can do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves.
And it's not just any person of majesty. It's the person of grace—Jesus Christ himself. What more is grace than the divine empowerment of the one who is now one spirit with you?
Never fear—we are always WITH Christ. Our proximity never changes. And yet we can, and are indeed urged, to purposely bring our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and pain to Him. Why? Because Christ's divine empowerment gives resurrection power to get you through.
And when do we need to remember the presence of God most? It's those times of closed doors.
Amazingly, in Hebrews 4:16, you'll find that the phrase "time of need" is all one Greek word. Can you waver a guess as to which word? Yes, it's G171/akairós/"out of season."
When you are stuck with no apparent way forward, no open door, or no ability to change anything, you are reminded that you already have the person of Jesus Christ who will give you Himself. He abounds in the mercy and grace you need for the painful seasons because He is mercy and grace. He gives you His divine enablement in the storms of life.
This is how we are to be ready "in season" or those difficult "out of season" places.
You run to the King of Grace and receive what is already yours.
His presence will get you through until the season changes for His door is never closed.
Remember this—seasons end.
But the life, grace, and mercy of our Jesus Christ never will.