Our family is a winter lovin’ bunch of people. We’ll take snowpants over swimsuits, icicles over ice pops, and cold, rosy cheeks over hot, sunburned shoulders any day of the week! But, I will say, there’s no doubt that this winter has been harsh. Between the consistent, brutally cold temperatures and the icy tundra that has held our lawn captive for months, most people in the eastern portion of the country are yearning for even the smallest signs of spring to emerge. A little bud, a little green, or even a little sneeze would be welcome right about now!
With the hope of spring on the horizon, I was considering “seasons” yesterday. I’ve always loved the fact that our neck of the woods experiences four distinct seasons, each complete with its loveliness and its harshness.
Fall: the cool crisp air, the warm autumn hues, the surprise ice storm, the cold, barren trees.
Winter: the beauty of freshly fallen snow, the morning sun shining on a row of icicles, the bitter, blustery winds, the dangerous ice covered roadways.
Spring: the morning chorus of returning feathered friends, the first daffodil of the season, the brown muddy yard, the re-emergence of my all time favorite creature (sarcasm added) the tick.
Summer: the warmth of the sun on your back, the bounty of a flourishing garden, the hazy, hot, humid days, bathing suits (which are slightly worse than ticks).
Each season has moments that make us smile and ones that make us groan!
There is one common thread that runs through all seasons: the desire to move on. Whether it’s too much snow, too much rain, too much heat, or too many leaves, we have a tendency to want to move on when we’ve experienced “enough” of what that season has to offer. Sometimes we are too busy focusing on escaping where we are and end up missing out on what is right in front of us, in the “now”. We wish time away.
I have always held Ecclesiastes 3 close to my heart. It is a reminder that the Lord has set times…seasons, in our lives for certain reasons. Through the joys and the trials of each season, there is much to learn.
There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
My oldest son, a freshman in high school, was lamenting over the fact that he feels like all he does is schoolwork and studying. While I know that he was exaggerating a bit, I reminded him that he is a student; that’s his season of life…for now. While it’s difficult at times, he is laying down a foundation for the future. He learning habits that will last him a life time. He’s stretching himself. I reminded him that this season is temporary and that he shouldn’t try to rush past it or complain while in it. He needs to embrace where he is.
How true is that for each of us? Are we discontent in the season that we are in? Are we wishing our way out of that season, standing on tippy toes to catch a glimpse at what is up ahead?
Maybe you’re a new mom and feeling overwhelmed by the sleepless nights, the crying baby, the loneliness. Be reminded, this is a season, a precious season, and while it is difficult, the Lord has blessed you and will equip you to be what you need to be.
Maybe your house is full of little people. It’s noisy, messy, and you didn’t shower today (or yesterday). Your hair is in a ponytail, again, you’ve stepped on a lego in your bare feet, and cheerios litter the floor. Your job never seems to end. There are days that you feel frustrated, days that you remember that you were once an educated, working, showered member of society. Be reminded, you are engaged in a most important season; the Lord has allowed you to raise His little ones. What an honor and a privilege. There is no work more important. Enjoy the moments and don’t wish them away.
Maybe you are single. Maybe you’re tired of being single and wonder if the Lord even has that someone special waiting for you. You question yourself and your worth. You wait for your life to be complete, for “the one” to bring you joy. Be reminded that your joy comes from “The One”, and that even in your singleness, and maybe because of your singleness, you may be used of the Lord in amazing ways.
Maybe you’re entering the later years of your life. Your joints seem to creak with each movement. Your body has slowed a bit and you wonder what you can be used for. So much! You have weathered the many seasons of life and are an invaluable resource to those around you. Your testimony is strong and still being written. Your faith and walk with the Lord in both good times and tough times is in encouragement to those around you. The Lord still has plans for you.
Wherever you find yourself in life, be reminded that seasons are temporary. Instead of wishing a season away, embrace it, see it’s beauty, accept its challenges, and learn. Live life where you are. Find happiness, joy, and contentment knowing that the same God who has put the seasons into play in our world, has also ordained the seasons in our lives for His purposes.