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    OFF-SEASON
    Stephanie White
    Everyone experiences an off-season in
    life - sometimes more than one.
    An off-season is a dry time; it is a time of lack and a time of trials. These times can feel daunting and painful; therefore, we must understand the purpose of these times and we must be sure that God has a plan for our good

    Price:  $4.99

    book excerpt

    Psalms 77:1-12 NIV
    I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered You, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired: "Will the Lord reject forever? Will He never show His favor again? Has His unfailing love vanished forever? Has His promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld His compassion?" Selah. Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.

    An off-season is a dry time in life. It is a time of lack – a lack of progress, a lack of success, a lack of victory. It involves trials and feelings of loneliness. During an off-season you may feel like God is not listening to you; you may even feel like He does not care about your struggle or your pain.
    Did you ever feel like the Psalmist? Did you ever feel like you were crying out to God as loud as you could just to get Him to acknowledge you? Did you ever feel like God could not hear you or did not want to hear you? If you have, you know how awful those feelings are. We must understand, however, that thoughts and feelings can lie – and the thought that says, “God does not care so He is not listening,” is definitely a lie! It may seem like God is not there in the midst of your turmoil, but He is.
    The Psalmist is experiencing an off-season and he describes himself as in distress because of this trying time.

    DISTRESS: tightness; narrow; small. Strait; trouble;
    tribulation; adversity; affliction; anguish; sorrow.
    Adversary; foe.

    I am sure that you can relate to the definition for the word that was translated as distress. The first aspect of this definition is a feeling of constriction or limitation. Have you ever felt constricted or limited?
    Many times a trial can leave us feeling as if we are in a “tight” space; we believe we have nowhere to go. For example, a financial trial can leave you feeling trapped. You may not be able to buy what you need or go where you want to go. You may even feel ensnared by a feeling of helplessness because you cannot provide for another. A physical difficulty can also leave you feeling trapped. If you are debilitated in any way you may have to depend on others. You may not be able to do what you want when you want. No matter the source of your off-season, you will at some point feel constricted and limited.
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