The notion of seasons is one which exercises very real influence over every creature on this planet. Through Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, our world and it’s inhabitants experience marvelous changes which alter temperatures, patterns of growth, and the very landscape itself. Visually, aesthetically, the seasons are distinct; each has a characteristic “look and feel” all are familiar with. Each season has is particular variations which are the preference of some and the bane of others. And while opinions abound as to the “favorite season”, there are fascinating aspects to each. More intriguing, perhaps, is the explanation for why our world has seasons at all.
In a fascinating fashion typical of our Awesome God, the Earth experiences it’s seasons by way of a slight shift from perfect vertical in it’s pole to pole axis. At a unique 23.5 degrees from center, this slight lean away from the sun in fall/winter, and towards the sun in spring/summer, provides indirect and direct sunlight thus influencing temperatures and patterns of Earth’s growth and reproduction.
In a much similar manner, the lives of God’s people experience slants and shifts from a perfect equilibrium creating our own “seasons of life“. We are a creation of God, no different than His others, bounded by time, with the in-between moments bookended by occasions, challenges, difficulties, mountains to climb, and roads to walk. These experiences can shift the center of our focus, altar the angle of the gradient ahead, and modify the overall balance that we see and feel. Hence, we too go through periods, spells, and seasons.
When folks are surveyed for reasons why they prefer living in certain parts of the world, a rationale that routinely appears in the responses includes the pleasure of being able to experience the change of four distinct seasons. Our lives are no different. Nothing lasts forever, and sometimes that is a good thing. While we do have intervals that seem to be more rapturous than others, because of the tilts that life throws our way, other seasons we would just as well see left behind.
Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV) 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
When the going gets tough, do not be duped into believing that this season will last forever. There are moments when we feel cold, withered, fruitless, unproductive. But do not believe the lie that you are finished, that the potential for your life to yield something beautiful and amazing has gone for good. As King David so poetically said, your life will again bring fruit in “it’s season“.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Everything changes; everything. And that is not always a bad thing. Each season has a time, each period has a beginning, each chapter has an ending written by the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). At the turn of the twentieth century William Butler Yeats profoundly proclaimed:
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;”
While the center cannot hold, and while in a moment things can fall apart, never forget that the Winter of your life is being relentlessly tracked by a Spring that is on it’s way. It cannot be stopped. It cannot be hindered. It cannot be slowed. Time is in motion and it waits for no man. The loss, cold, decay, and death of yesterday have, hot on their heels, a surge of limitless life and light that will break through to your tomorrow. When the flower of your life is cut down never forget that “…there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.” (Job 14:1-7).