Sometimes the most obvious things are the most necessary things. Its kind of like when I go to the dentist and they give me that free toothbrush at the end of the visit. It is pretty obvious for a dentist to have something to say about brushing teeth yet that parting reminder after the visit is truly the most necessary thing as far as teeth go. I feel like a blog post on a church website about seasons falls into a similar category of obvious but necessary. There is no lack of content about seasons in writing about them or by way of a poem in the card aisle at Target. For the Christian, seasons provide some parallels to our human experiences. We have times of fun and enjoyment (Summer), times of plenty and a rich harvest (Fall), times of letting go and dormancy (Winter), and then times of new life and promise (Spring).
What I find interesting about seasons is that I am need of regularly being reminded things about them. Life does become weary and have a grind to it. The imagery of seasons is so rich that it fills up my soul when I consider the truths they speak. Here are some that come to mind for me:
Seasons are repeated
Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring. That’s it. You can’t really even add another one because the weather forecast will push back. Each of them is contained within their own climate and weather patterns. It’s really something that seasons provide yearly reminders unlike other natural things like Haley’s Comet which comes around every 75 years (I understand the next one is 2062!). This repetition for our lives can be a source of hope. No one lives their whole life in summer conditions spiritually. Neither is anyone to live in a perpetual spiritual winter. Psalm 23 reminds us that there is a valley where the shadows of death fall but valleys are there because of hills and mountains. This truth helps me in just knowing that if I am in a winter season spiritually, it doesn’t last forever and around the corner can be a Spring. Sometimes our prayer can simply be, “God, help me quietly wait during winter and watch for the new growth that is coming in me.” Hope and waiting are the two truths I try to hold in each hand when I remember that seasons are repeated.
Seasons are different yet similar
There are some things that seasons have in common like the sun, leaves, grass, flowers, weather, etc. But there is so much variety in those things from season to season. We have a hammock in our back yard and it is so peaceful to be out there under the trees in the summer as the sun is going down. Just hearing the rustling of the leaves and the swishing sound is soothing. Months after those leaves have fallen and snow is on the ground, you can occasionally find one of those leaves under the snow. It is frozen, brittle and has a beauty different from its summer beauty. It also holds the reminder that another set of leaves will be coming again in a few months.
The seasons of our spiritual lives are very different yet have similarities. I think where this speaks to me is knowing that God may not bring growth in my life the same way in a Winter season as he does in a Fall season. I think of the passage that says, “I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Phil. 4:12). The key word in that last sentence is “secret.” What is the secret? I mean how do you be content in winter as well as summer? The writer pens these famous words “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Looking to the Creator to provide the strength for me in the season I am in is where I should put my trust. God can use each season to stir my affections for Him so that I can find the beauty in each season of my spiritual walk.
Seasons have beginning and endings
I think, spiritually speaking, the “ending” is what I am fixated on when things are rough. My constant questionings are, “Just make it through.” “When will this be over?” Ultimately, the seasons of my spiritual walk in this life are over when my journey on earth is done. God promised he will “bring to completion” what He intends for me “at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). But I think this truth about beginnings and endings is the one that comforts me most. Each season brings an opportunity to grow and the reminder my life is always under construction. When winter comes, I can know there are some things about me that need to die and those seeds then become the starters for a springtime of new growth. Seasons remind me I don’t have to stay stuck. Seasons remind me God’s world continues to operate at His pace and that I cannot make the season I am in go faster or slower.
I don’t know who needs this reminder but I know I do – often. What season are you in right now?
“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9