Friday, September 23, 2011
Know Your Season
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV
I absolutely love the fall. We've been super blessed to live most of our lives in Michigan, which has four very distinct seasons. I must admit that one of my favorite seasons is the one we’re in right now. The weather is cooling down, the days are getting a little shorter and fall sports are in full gear.
Each season has its benefits – the things that make it unique; and each season has its characteristics that aren't so great. But every season is equally important because as one season comes to a close, it ushers in a fresh new season.
Did you notice today's scripture? It says, "To everything there is a season...." That means that just like the climate, we are all going to go through different spiritual seasons throughout our lives. It's unavoidable – it's going to happen. So, we'd be wise to learn to recognize the particular season that we're in so that we can learn to weather, if you will, whatever season we're in by faith. So, let's break down those seasons:
(1) Spring Who doesn't love the spring? It’s the season of freshness and life. After a winter of cold and snow, the birth of new life is everywhere you look. It's April showers bringing out May's flowers. On the ground, in the trees – it's everywhere and it's undeniable. It's the time when the farmers are preparing the ground for seed. It's a time of preparation for the things to come. Often these are the feelings that we have when we first give our lives to Jesus, where we are overwhelmed by the excitement of learning about our Savior and growing in our knowledge of His Word. Everything around us seems to be teeming with spiritual life. But Spring is just a season.
(2) Summer Then comes summer, hallelujah! Schools out and it's time for motorcycle riding, BBQ's in the back yard, trips to the beach, summer vacations and weekends at the cottage. The weather is nicer, the days are longer and the folks around here just feel better. It's a great season to spend with family and friends. But, because of the heat, things can start to get dry, and if we're not careful we start to see things drying up or even wilting away. So what do we do? We turn on the sprinklers and pray for rain to help those crops grow. It's a time of patience for the farmers because harvest season is still months away. But they know that even though they may not see the fruit of their labors, the harvest is coming. Did you know that the same thing is true spiritually? We can get dry. Our worship feels dry, our prayer times feel dry, our feelings toward God are dry. The answer to this is a constant amount of spiritual watering every day with God's Word. Summers can be a dry time, a time where we need to learn to be patient, a time to trust that God is working behind the scenes even if we don't feel it. But Summer is just a season.
(3) Fall Then it happens…before we know it, fall is here. You start to feel it in the air. You can't always tell what it is, but something is different. It's harvest season for the farmers. It's what they have anticipated all year long and now it is finally here. Their sowing, weeding, watering and nurturing has paid off and now it's time to reap. Did you know that there is a spiritual harvest season for us too? Now it may not always come on an annual basis, but a harvest always comes to those who sow. Let these words in Galatians 6:7-9 (NKJV) minister to your heart:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
But Fall is just a season.
(4) Winter For every spring, for every summer and for every fall there is a winter. I have to admit that of the four seasons this is my least favorite. It's cold, the days are shorter, the weather tends to be worse and it seems like every trip just takes longer. But then those special days come after a fresh snowfall when the sight of the snow on the trees is just breathtaking. Around Michigan we usually have a number of "snow days" when everything just shuts down, and we have to dig ourselves out of a mess of snow. Do you know that the same thing is true spiritually? Sometimes life throws a pile of snow at us and laughs in our face and says, "Take that!" So, what do we do? We remind ourselves that winter is just a season, and with God's help we start digging ourselves out and look to help dig others out as well.
So, learn to recognize the season you are in and never forget that each season has its purpose, and that in the end you'll be stronger because you learned to trust God through every season of life.