Seasons: Wednesday in the Word

seasonsI’m blessed to live in an area that experiences all four seasons. I can’t imagine living where you can celebrate Christmas with a picnic on the beach. Of course, if I can find a place with perpetual fall, I’m all in. Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.

Yes, I know the song is about Christmas. And while I do agree that Christmas is the most wonderful celebration of the year, if we’re talking seasons, I’m sticking with fall. I’m also aware that autumn doesn’t actually begin until September 22, but we’re not going to split hairs on this one. This is my favorite time of year, whether it’s technically started or not. I will, however, wait a couple more weeks to put out my pumpkins, mums, and colorful leaf decorations.

Some think fall and winter are less than because “everything is dead or dying”. They don’t see the value in these seasons. They want the green leaves and growing flowers. But I’ve always seen beauty in these two seasons. I find peace in them. They remind me, even in death or times without measurable growth, there is beauty.

The colors, scents, and crispness of a fall day are perfect for slowing down and letting memories wash over you. I’ve always seen autumn as the most nostalgia filled season, with winter as a close second. That’s beautiful. And a world draped in winter’s glistening snow? That’s beautiful too and can usher in a peaceful hush.

As much as people may enjoy the vibrancy of spring and summer, the world needs autumn and winter. It’s not only a tearing down of what’s growing tired. There’s also a building up and preparation for the new life to come as winter gives way to spring. Autumn and winter are seasonal resets.

But as much as I think I would love to live in perpetual fall, in reality, I probably wouldn’t. Yes, the temperatures would be perfect. However, without summer’s heat or the sogginess of spring, would I appreciate the gifts of fall nearly as much? Probably not.

There’s a reason Ecclesiastes 3 begins with, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” (I encourage taking time to read the first 8 verses.) In our world there is a reason for each season, and in our lives there is reason as well.

When we’re in the easy seasons, the comfortable seasons, we wish they could last forever. Who looks forward to moving into a harder time? Does anyone hunger for times when it feels like nothing is moving forward, like we’ve entered a spiritual or emotional hibernation? It feels like death. The bright sunshine of everything going well gives way to cool winds that push us in directions we’re unfamiliar with. Sometimes, they even usher in the cold, darkness of winter where every move we make is like trudging through a mountain of snow, if we’re able to move at all.

Those times have a purpose. They slow us down. In our attempts to seek direction or the times when we’re trudging instead of running with ease, God reminds us to turn to Him. He’s there with direction and strength. God knows what storms our next spring and summer will bring. He uses the autumn and winter of our souls to prepare us for the new growth and the thunderstorms.

These seasons happen in our faith, families, and ministries. I’m currently in a fall and winter in my writing life. No, I don’t think it’s ending. But I think God has brought me to a place where I have to slow down and turn to Him. There is a spring full of new experiences right around the corner for me. Early 2023 will bring with it many changes I feel less than equipped for. But this in-between time, this fall and winter, isn’t for my detriment. It’s for my preparation. It’s allowing me to seek God for answers and rely on Him to show me what I need to be ready for the new growth that’s coming.

I’m blessed to know the season of growth that’s ahead of me. That doesn’t always happen. We aren’t always clued in to what’s ahead on our path or when spring will finally come. It doesn’t matter. In fact, one area of our life may be spring or summer while another is autumn or winter. The important thing is for us to remember, no matter the season, there is a reason for it. And when we embrace it, there is beauty in each season.

Have you seen the beauty of each season?

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1 Comment

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  1. Donna Stearns says:

    Yes, it all declares God’s beauty, power, and wisdom. I’ve lived through many changing seasons and in one now. I find these changing seasons a challenge and great adventure.