By Connie T. Kee
Seasons come and seasons go as we sing in songs such as “Steady as the Beating Drum” from the children’s movie, “Pocahontas.” For me, the seasons of life have had a greater impact than the changing seasons of the year. I suspect that this is the same for you. Oh, how one may long for childhood, that time when (for some) the concerns were, “What’s for dinner?” or “How long can I stay out and play?” Childhood passes by and becomes only one of our life seasons. But grow up we must, and we find that the seasons change.
Life Seasons – Inevitable and Unavoidable
Many would say that our life seasons parallel the seasons of the year – summer, autumn, winter and spring. Others identify them as the baby, toddler, adolescent and adult seasons. Often the adult season is subdivided into the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc. Google ‘seasons’ and you will find many differing ideas, but God’s Word is the beginning and end point of it all. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 we read,
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die…”
God created, designed and ordained the seasons of life, and He has a purpose for each one. Some seasons are full of pleasure and joy, but others are – well, let’s just say – they are not times that we would choose or prefer. But we really don’t have control over the times or the specifics and no one asks us if we are ready. The season changes are inevitable and unavoidable, and try as we may to hold on to the old season, we cannot. The truth is that the season change moves us forward and we learn, we grow, and we develop into the women and men that God destined and created us to be.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – My Life Seasons
There have been new seasons in my life that I responded to with sheer delight and excitement. Graduating from high school and going off to college was exciting as new beginnings often are. Getting married and having my children were really wonderful seasons. However, some of my seasons have been devastating with pain, loss and grief describing these transitions. Often the loss of a loved one or the loss of our health forces us into a new season, and that was the case for me when I lost my father, then, later in life, my mother, my first husband, and my health. Also, another really difficult season change occurred when my children transitioned from childhood into adulthood leaving me with an empty nest. In all of these changes, I was not ready and did not want the changes. However, it was during these times when my heart was breaking to the point that I almost could not breathe that I learned the most valuable lessons of my life. It was then that I truly developed an intimate and close relationship with my Father God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
We are not promised an easy and carefree life, but we are promised that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:8 and Hebrews 13:5-6). He promises that He will be with us when we pass through the waters, and that our troubles will not overtake us (Isaiah 43:2). It was during my most difficult seasons that these Bible truths became revelation – real and alive – to me. Jesus never tells us to deny our pain and grief, but to bring them to Him. That is exactly what I learned to do. I learned to sit on Jesus’ lap, to cry my heart out to Him, and allow Him to comfort me and heal my heart (Isaiah 61: 1-3). Through these times, I experienced the depth of my Father’s love for me, and the truth that He is working all things for my good. I was changed during these most difficult seasons in ways that probably would not have been possible during the easy carefree seasons. My faith and trust in God was strengthened and my knowledge of Him, His character and His ways, grew. He is always with us, guiding and directing our steps as we seek and follow Him. For God ALWAYS has a plan and a purpose for us in our new season, and in Him, we ALWAYS have the victory!
The Key – Our Response
So, the question is not, will the seasons of our life change, but how will we respond when the change occurs. Will we respond by seeking after Jesus, leaning on Him and trusting and believing that God is working all things for our good? For that is the key to growing through all of our seasons – our response!