As I sit here on my front porch on a slightly cooler day than what most of the summer has been, I think about the season of Fall approaching. Spring and Fall are my two favorite seasons. I love Spring because I love the new growth that it brings and the warmth after the Winter, and knowing that there are going to be brighter days ahead as Summer approaches! I love the Fall because I’m ready for cooler temperatures, the beautiful color show that God gives us, and the smell of warm apple pie or pumpkin spice candles burning in my home. I stop and ask myself why is it that I’m not as fond of Winter and Summer?
Winter brings cold, dreary days, which sometimes with the right conditions snow and ice that may keep us inside and away from our normal routines, friends, family, and other things that we may like to do. Everything around me dies and turns brown, and the world somehow seems emptier with all the bare branches shining on the trees, no colorful flowers blooming or leaves painting the scenery around me. It’s just kind of a dull season where nothing new is happening, no growth is taking place. Summer brings dry hot desert dry land days, where you want to do nothing but do everything in the morning and stay in the AC all afternoon. But each of those two seasons do have character traits that I like about them.
During the winter I can cuddle up with my family & snuggle a little closer, I can slip hot cocoa as if every small sip is a special treat, I can be reminded of God’s cleansing power in the beauty of the pure white snow that covers the ground. In the Summer, I do get to have a little more relaxed routine with my family, no homework, no school, no rushing around, my feet get to wear flip flops and feel free.
Each season has a purpose it serves, and without each season doing what it’s made to do, the next one can’t fulfill it’s purpose. Without the falling of the leaves in the Fall, there can’t be new growth in the Spring that brings beautiful new blossoms with bright shining colors that brightens the day in it’s own way. Without the coldness of Winter and the snowy weather it brings, we would never appreciate the Summer. Without the Spring rain, we wouldn’t be prepared for the dry days of Summer. The pruning that takes place in the Fall and Winter prepares the flowers and trees for new things in the Spring & Summer, a color display like no other.
Our lives have seasons that we go through and each season serves a purpose, and without one, the next couldn’t fulfill it’s purpose. God tells us in Isaiah 55:10-11, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” He has his reasons for allowing each season to take place in our lives. If we stayed in the “perfect” season all of our lives we wouldn’t appreciate it. It’s the seasons that we view as having negative characteristics that actually produce the growth & bring about that beautiful color display in our lives that God wants to show the world.
We go through seasons of changes, from jobs and relationships, to more inward changes such as learning a little more about ourselves and needing to make changes. The journey isn’t always easy, honestly, most of the time it’s not. God never promised us it would be, actually He told us just the opposite in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in ME you may have peace, In this world you will have trouble, But take Heart! I have overcome the world.” (Emphasis Mine) He laid it all out to us telling us that this journey in this life, in this world wouldn’t be easy, but in him we can have peace. Even in those tough seasons of life where we feel like we are all alone, we’re not, He’s there, He’s always there.
When the seasons of cold come in to our lives and we may feel lonely or isolated, we can cuddle up with God & snuggle with Him a little more and a little closer. We can sip from His cup because He is always the right portion for anything that we need, and He will give us the warmth inside, just like that cup of hot cocoa on a cold winters day. When we feel that we are alone in the desert dry lands, we can take comfort in knowing that He is with us and our source of living water and if we allow Him to carry us, our feet can be free, just like in the flip flops on a hot summer day.
In the seasons of our lives when God is pruning us like He does the trees in the Fall, we just have to trust and have faith that He knows what He’s doing and He’s removing what needs to be removed, cutting off what needs to be cut off, so that in due season, the new growth that He desires can take place and make beautiful blossoms that will let the world see Him through us. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11-14 tells us “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you see me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” All we need to do is trust God and rest in His promises. He is in control of all things at all times in all circumstances. He’s got everything together for us.
Sometimes we may not understand why things are taking place in our lives the way that they are. We can’t see what God’s plan is and that makes us nervous. Though it may be hard to deal with a relationship that no longer is, the loss of a job, a move that we have to make that we weren’t prepared for, we can know that God has his reasons and it’s always for our good. He always has our best interest at heart. There have been times in my life when I couldn’t understand the season that I was going through. I felt lost, confused, hurt, didn’t know which way to turn to remain in the will of God, and I certainly didn’t understand it’s purpose. But looking back, I can see more clearly. I see that the season served it’s purpose, that it has prepared me for the next season of life, and new growth comes with each new season, it may be an inner growth rather than an outer growth, but it’s taking place. We may choose to have things our way, but God’s way is always so much better. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” It’s a matter of trust, Has God not been there for you always? Has He not brought you through many seasons before and brought better things in your life that allowed you to grow closer to Him? Some seasons it’s just about reflecting on the season before and realizing what God has done and being thankful for it.
Yes, each season serves it’s purpose in our lives, and without one, the next can’t fulfill it’s purpose. Embrace each season, look for God’s hand at work in you and through you, and trust in His promises. Your Father loves you more than anyone ever could, and He makes all things beautiful in it’s time. Ecclesiastes 3:11
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8