A mentor once told me that life is a series of adventures. Some are more fortuitous than others and, quite frankly, some don’t seem like adventures at all. New seasons can be terrifying, but in the midst of our fear, we cannot lose hope.
Living Your Adventure
In the summer of 2013, my life drastically changed after pursuing a calling to write. This season was an adventure of uncovering true richness and contentment in the midst of everyday life. It was both fun and challenging to stare down the big, hairy, audacious goal of writing a book while running a business and raising three kids, but God proved to be faithful. In January of 2015, my first book, Redefine Rich, was published.
However, as colorful leaves fall to the ground, it signifies a new season—a new adventure awaits. The newness of the book has worn off and life goes on. Instead of writing about living a rich life, it’s time to live one. The book that was created now has to be lived. And it is hard.
Admittedly, there’s a sneaking tension for authors to find their identity in how well received their words prove to be. Like a little kid who’s just scored a winning run, you look to the stands to see if anyone is watching. Sometimes, to your dismay, no one is. Yet it’s in those seasons where our fortitude is tested and we must hold fast to hope in spite of what we see.
As the winds of change swirl overhead, feelings of confusion, anger, and uncertainty set in.
The Changing Seasons
As Jesus’s ministry draws to a close, he enjoys one final meal with His closest friends. Then, He retreats to a quiet place known as the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And Jesus was in anguish, so He prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. – Luke 22: 29-45
Jesus knows that the cross waits for Him. He knows that the season of His public ministry is coming to a close. It is now time for the season of His death and He’s terrified.
Here we have Jesus, the Son of God, the same man who has healed thousands, calmed storms, and cast out demons. Yet He’s terrified in the face of a changing season.
I find this ironic, don’t you?
In previous cases, Jesus showed little, if any, hesitation toward adversity. So why is this different?
I believe that this is Christ’s humanity on full display.
In fact, I’d say that we never see Christ’s humanity more than we see it on the cross. And in His humanity, when He could have chosen so many paths, He chose humility.
His prayer is our example and our hope:
Father, if you are willing…yet not my will, but yours be done.
Humility and obedience personified. Jesus knew that this season was part of the greater plan of the Father and it is to the Father that He commits His plans.
Was it easy? No.
Was Jesus excited about it? Absolutely not.
Did Jesus persevere? Absolutely.
It’s as if Jesus is telling us, “Some adventures won’t be easy and I know exactly how you feel. But, I’m asking you to persevere with me.” Friends, Jesus understands the challenge in changing seasons and that is precisely why He has given us the example that we need to follow.
Whether it is cancer or death or divorce or addiction or financial strain or career challenges, he’s telling us: It won’t be easy and it certainly can be terrifying, but My promise is one confirmed through my experience.
Jesus knew that His obedience to the cross is echoing the hope God gave His people centuries before. He knew that His promise needed to be fulfilled and that it could only be done on the cross.
I will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6
Whatever season you find yourself in today, whatever adventure you may be on, I pray that you will find hope and rest from the example of the One who has already conquered everything you fear.
Because it is in Christ’s humanity where we find hope.
About the Author
Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking