One of the most pressing thought processes I have been mulling over in my mind (over and over and over) is the seasons of life. Our life is governed by seasons whether we notice them, embrace them, run from them, or totally ignore them.
When my grandson was in grade school he was asked to define ‘seasons’. He didn’t pause, and simply said,”Deer season. Turkey season. Rabbit season. And walleye season.” (clearly his dad is an avid hunter.) Well, the Bible has some pretty well known verses on seasons; so well known that a rock band in the 60’s wrote a song about it. You may or may not have heard of The Byrds and their hit song “Turn, Turn, Turn”. Some of the words in their song and quoted from the book of Ecclesiastes – “To everything (turn, turn, turn). There is a season (turn, turn and turn). And a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to kill, a time to heal. A time to laugh, a time to weep.” This 60’s song is a song stuck in the brain of the baby boomers as a solid life lesson we either paid attention to, or missed.
To everything there is a season. Everything. Think about our natural four seasons – they follow each other and are connected to each other. The seasons for the most part, follow a pattern and are dependable and predictable. By definition: “Seasons are the four weather dividers in a year, vary significantly in characteristics, and can prompt changes in the world around them.” In that definition what stands out to me is that seasons can prompt changes in the world around them.
The seasons of our life.
Let’s just think about the seasons in our life; the events or circumstances that happen and change our lives as well as change US!
We all love and cherish the seasons of success, joy, renewal, and all things warm and cozy. No one really enjoys the seasons of failure, pain, destruction, and all things messy and messier. Having lived thru all of the above – good and bad, I have come to understand that they are all connected and the bad seasons do NOT last forever. That is hard to believe when you are in the throes of pain or loss. Just ask Job. His life went from absolutely wonderful, to disaster on every level.
What about the unexpected?
What to do during the prompt changes seasons will bring about in your life? First of all, it’s sometimes good and necessary to just do nothing. Just be still. It is those crazy sporadic ideas we get in our heads (caused from panic) during hard times, that can stunt our growth for the NEXT season to come. If you feel like you could spin out of control, rein yourself in and just stop. Find a refuge for your soul and hide yourself there.
Stop. Breathe. Be still. Wait.
Seasons change – remember that. True, it can take much longer than you wish (I had horribly painful Shingles for 3 months and I would rather have had 6 more children!), but it does pass and it will change.
God makes beauty from ashes.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time.” There is beauty in everything as it comes into its own fullness and purpose. Some of my own darkest times have uncovered the most valuable treasures. “I [God] will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places – so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons YOU by name.” (Isaiah 45:3) SO much cool truth in that scripture.
Flowers, babies, butterflies, diamonds – all things that begin in a season of darkness before coming into their FULL purpose. Flowers are first seeds (and let us not forget as they fall into the ground, they die) buried in the dark suffocating earth. Babies are first a seed in a mother’s dark suffocating womb. Butterflies are first caterpillars tightly wrapped in dark, suffocating cocoons. Diamonds are first chunks of dirty coal way down deep in dark suffocating mines. ALL this beauty is stored in secret places, to be uncovered in their time.
The thing about seasons – ALL seasons – the ones in the natural and the ones in the spiritual, they change. It is the very nature of seasons. We must learn to embrace each season as it comes, and goes. We must look for the treasures of darkness and uncover valuable life lessons so we can grow and change. We must learn to trust the God who summons us by our name, realizing His ultimate goal for each of US to to make US beautiful in OUR own time.