I love seasonal living.
I think I could live without them, but for the brief autumn that we lived in Haiti, I eagerly scanned my Facebook newsfeed for any pictures of people picking apples, or sitting around plump orange pumpkins, or drinking their pumpkin spice lattes to their hearts content. Don’t get me wrong, living on an Island with the beach nearby had its benefits, but my internal clock is firmly set to mark the seasons.
In fact, I believe that all of our clocks are set to mark seasons.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 wisely tells us,
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Our internal clock isn’t just about falling leaves or spring’s crocuses. This clock is set by a Creator who knit us in the womb and wove our DNA into place. He set our hearts on eternity in Him (Ecc. 3:11) and created us for the seasons of life.
Our present season may look like a new job, or a move, or the same old same old. Our present season may welcome a new baby or an empty nest. It may herald in marital anniversary bliss or marriage darkness. It may have us caring for children, or caring for parents, or both. It may find us surrounded by people and affection, or it may find us feeling very much alone.
Matthew Henry says it so well:
“The day will give place to the night and the night again to the day. Is it summer? It will be winter. Is it winter? Stay awhile, and it will be summer. Every purpose has a time. The clearest sky will be clouded…joy succeeds sorrow; and the most clouded sky will clear up.”
It isn’t analyzing the season that we are in presently that we are talking about, although that is valuable.
It is knowing that God does in fact have a time for us, in the big things –
A season for independence
A season to get married
A season of fun and exhaustion with little ones
A season for career “success”
A season for a new job
A season of good health
A season of health struggles
A season of watching children take wing
A season of retirement
A season of death
And in the little things –
A season for vacation
A season of busyness
A season of tightening the belt of finances
A season of plenty
A season of coffee, coffee, and more coffee
A season of grumbling
A season of romance
Recognizing that God weaves us in and out of seasons in our lives, we can stand through the dark stuff knowing that this too shall pass. And when we are waiting desperately for something, we can be assured that our season for that may just be around the corner.
It gives us a little bit of patience and a whole lot of assurance that our God holds our days in His hands. The same God who sends the sun over the horizon and causes it to set at dusk, the God who makes the snow fall and the flowers spring up a few months later, holds our lives and our plans close to His heart.
We cry out from our hearts the words of Psalm 31:14-16 –
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16 Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love! (emphasis added)
What season are you in?
Is it a joyous time, or a season of struggle? Is it a season of normal and average (which is a blessing sometimes!) or surprise and excitement?
To everything there is a season.
Whatever the season, embrace it as a time to know a little more of the One who creates and sustains and brings us to the next season. May your seasons ever be a further revealing of His work in your life.
What is your favorite season (winter, spring, summer, or fall)?
What big or little seasons of life can you add to the above lists?
What does your current life-season look like?
In what ways have you seen God work in your seasons?
This post is a sample from the I Love My Shepherd study, Casting Stones, which walks through Ecclesiastes 3 in nine weeks of study.
Find visual faith tools and the free videos also available to compliment the study on the Studies Available page.