For many this is a time God SHEDDING. Usually shedding comes also with a change of seasons. Animals lose their fur, trees lose their leaves, seeds shed their shell to grow roots, all during seasonal transitions.
This season of shedding is going to be marked with a few significant things:
2. Unexpected Appearances
4. Release of what has been stored
The first (endings) is probably the hardest for our (or at least my) human mind. There are things for which the season is simply done. These will be things God is calling you to step out of or things that come to an end. Be advised, however, this end is not a dead end BUT the necessary planting. Those things that are ending are not wasted time or completely over, but their fruit has borne the seeds for what is coming next! It has fed into what is about to happen, and now it's time. God says "Let it go so it can grow". Shed's first definition according to Google is "allow (leaves or fruit) to fall to the ground". All your fruit to fall out of your hands and into His...so that it can be replanted! Letting go can sometimes feel like sacrificing, but God only trades up when you surrender your heart.
"But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies." (1 Cor. 15:35-36 NIV)
The second feature is UNEXPECTED APPEARANCES. God keeps impressing on me that we *think* we see the full picture of where He is leading, but the way it comes to fruition is something that we cannot yet envision. Just as in the natural an apple seed doesn't look like an apple when you plant it, what's being planted now will be much greater, more brilliant, and more complex than it appears.
"When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.”
(1 Cor. 15:37-38 NIV)
This is also a time of REFRESHMENT. Two of Google's definitions for shed include "discard (something undesirable, superfluous, or outdated)" and
"eliminate part of (an electrical power load) by disconnecting circuits". What God is calling you to lay down is something that during this season you don't need to carry anymore. Ask God for more wisdom about if this is what you're being called to do and what it is you need to lay down. These things won't serve you or God's purposes in this season, and this time of shedding will feel like the "ahh" of relief of setting down something excessive you have been carrying. It will also feel like (per the second definition) a disconnecting from overloaded power circuits. In places you have been needlessly expending too much energy, you will be disconnected from unhealthy or overloading circuits.
The final marker will be a release of what has been stored. Just as shed can also be a noun- a place where things are stored or built- the things that have been built and stored in heaven for this next season are being released to earth! Honoring God in the steps He is asking you to take will result in abundant spiritual supplies for the upcoming season.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Just as scripture speaks often of needing new wine skins for new wine, we must "shed our old skins". The old wineskins can't contain what is next! Google also defines shed as "allow (its skin or shell) to come off, to be replaced by another one that has grown underneath". God has been growing something beneath the skin...aging it like wine to perfection. Now it's ready. We are making room for the new wine!
The shed definition also says "Compare with sheath". The image of God removing from it's sheath the sword of His spirit. Since that spirit operates in you, your words and actions become His sword! He is un-sheathing you into community to bless. Along with the image of a shell coming off I see a picture of vulnerability. Vulnerability within community which is amplifying God's work. "Coming out of our shell" almost never feels comfortable, but there is JOY waiting on the other side.