I love the change in seasons. No more air conditioning being on during the day. No more sweating under the covers because it’s really too hot to be under them anyway. It’s time to pull out my favorite pair of warm, fuzzy slippers, grab a blanket, and hide under it. Time to trade my t-shirts for long sleeves, my baseball cap for a warm fuzzy hat, and my short socks for thick, tall, fluffy ones. It’s time to enjoy hot drinks: coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Time to eat soup everyday for lunch, and even for supper some days and never get tired of it. It’s the time of year where being inside during the day feels like torture and coming in at night is only out of necessity. Relaxing. Invigorating. Refreshing.
Just like the change in physical seasons, I’ve come to recognize and appreciate changes in seasons that takes place spiritually. Certain seasons in our lives are hard, intense, tiring, and painful. These seasons seem to suck the life out of us, leaving us worn out, frail, battered, and weak. The only way we have strength is by leaning on God through every step. Even though we may grow closer to God during these times, when these seasons come to a close, the change is a welcome reprieve.
Other seasons seem empty or dry, like there is no life left in us spiritually. It feels like we are just going through a desert, desperate for water, shelter, and relief. During these times God seems far away, distant even. Often we blame God for leaving us in the desert to die when in reality, there is living water around every corner, we are just unwilling to submit to God’s direction. These dry seasons often end as a result of us realizing that what God is calling us to do isn’t as big a sacrifice as once imagined; that offering our all to him is what we should have done in the beginning instead of running away from him or making excuses.
Then there are seasons of waiting. These times are always hard because we live in such an instant society. I know for me, I will get an idea or a direction and want to run with it, but all of the doors are closed. I get so frustrated, but eventually down the road, I can always look back and see that God was preparing the direction but he had to orchestrate events in order for the plan to come to fruition. It’s imperative that during these times of waiting that instead of dreading them, that we intentionally spend time with God with the purpose of growing and building up a storehouse of knowledge. If we don’t, then when it’s time to step, we may not be ready.
Then there are seasons of submission where we are willing to do whatever it is that God asks; we are hungry, searching, digging, going, telling, obeying, surrendering, willing. These are times when God says jump and we say how high. Reading his word is a pleasure, serving others is natural, prayer is second nature, and our selfishness becomes a faint memory. If only we could stay in this season all of the time!
I know there are other seasons that I did not mention, but my whole point of recognizing seasons is to acknowledge the fact that THEY ARE ONLY SEASONS. We won’t stay in the same season spiritually for the rest of our lives. There will be hard times. There will be good times. There will be waiting times. There will be dry times. There will be closeness. There will be drifting. There will be obedience. There will be doubt. There will be struggles. There will be hope. Whatever season you are in, I pray that you will appreciate the great things about it. And if it is an unpleasant one, just remember that it’s like a kid who swallows a penny….this too shall pass!