To Everything There is a Season

 

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“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…” —Ecclesiastes 3:1

After living in Missouri for almost two years, I’ve noticed that—at least during these last two winters—a “spring teaser” appears every few weeks. After a few days of freezing temperatures and the occasional snowstorm, the temperatures will steadily climb again. Then on a day like today, a nice walk in the warm sunshine becomes possible. While the brain of this Northeastern girl surely gets confused, I definitely appreciate these springlike respites in the middle of the winter. Somehow, they help remind me that winter won’t last forever.

Over the last few years, the LORD has also been bringing my attention to the seasons we have in our lives. The last few winters I’ve noticed that my life seems to reflect the state of the trees and I will find myself in an uncomfortable time of dormancy and pruning. This winter has been particularly difficult, but just as a time of dormancy and pruning for trees is as critical to their continual growth as the spring, summer, and autumn, I know deep in my spirit that all of the seasons we face in our lives are critical to our continual growth as well.

It’s funny, I didn’t always feel this way though. I remember as a teenager and young adult seeking out my Grandmother for comfort and encouragement during particularly difficult times. Much like my mom, my Grandmother’s arms made me feel safe, loved, and special. Of course I also sought her for wisdom as I looked for solutions to various problems I faced. As I look back, it seems like her solution usually came in the form of four simple words. “This too shall pass,” was Grandmother’s consistent answer to my tears. When there was a problem to be solved or pain that didn’t seem to end, “this too shall pass” was usually the last thing I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear the answer that would bring about change in my life. Yet the wisdom in Grandmother’s answer was that eventually circumstances would change. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, my troubles would eventually be history. Now that I’m older and with many more “seasons” under my belt, I can see in hindsight that my Grandmother was right.

Recently, as I have been experiencing some very painful circumstances in my life, the LORD has been bringing my late Grandmother’s words to mind. Like her, He isn’t telling me how things will get better only that they simply will get better in time. And for the first time in my life “this too shall pass” is like a balm to my soul. I know that the difficulties I have faced in the past did indeed pass. Solutions presented themselves. Relationships fell apart or were mended. Money has come and gone. Physical and emotional wounds winter-flowers-1200013eventually healed. The crisis of yesteryear is not the crisis of the present. And just as the LORD has been my champion in the past, He is my champion today and forever.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is often quoted to remind us that there is indeed a time and season for everything. Like the changing of the seasons in our world, change also defines the course of our lives.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break 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 cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

 

I thank God for the work He is doing in this season and how He is growing and preparing me for the next season of my life! And through it all He is my champion!

What some of the things you have learned from the times and seasons of your life? What has given you comfort during the hard times?

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