Spiritual seasons come into our lives just like the earthly seasons God brings each year.
Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter…which would you say is your favorite season and why? I would have to say Summer is mine! I love the warmth of Summer and being an educator, school is out in the Summer…it’s vacation time!
Here in Louisiana our seasons can be confusing. Even now in the beginning of March, we can go from sunny, warm temperatures in the 70s one day and then drop back down to the 30s the next with icy rain! That probably happens where you live too! We laugh and say – “Well if you don’t like the weather today, hang on because tomorrow’s is sure to be different!”
What if…what if our favorite season lasted year round? What if…there was only one season? God knew what He was doing when He created the different seasons. The earth needs each of them, and we need the different seasons He brings into our lives too!
Just like nature has four different seasons, our lives seem to have different spiritual seasons too.
There are those seasons of Spring when everything seems to be new and blooming! Spiritually, this may be when we first come to know Christ as our Savior!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Reading God's Word, fellowshiping with other believers, praying & spending time with God everyday is new and fresh! We feel new and fresh...and we are! Jesus has not only come into our lives and changed us, He has exchanged His life for ours!
Seasons come more than once though, and so during our spiritual life we get to enjoy several Springs along the way as God brings new growth as we dwell in His garden.
Spring is certainly a time of beauty and new growth! However...showers still come in nature as well as life. God uses them to help us grow in Him though, and although He does not promise us a trial or rain-free life, He does promise to be with us in the storms!
Then there are seasons of Summer when life seems warm and relaxed. A spiritual level of maturity or plateau has been reached for a time. And although our spiritual lives may seem somewhat stable, there may come extremely not periods of spiritual challenges as well as Summer afternoon thunderstorms and even hurricanes down here near the gulf!
Both heat and storms can bring strength though. Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could attest to this fact! Just as in the storms or fires of life, God promises to be with us too! God may use these times of turbulant weather or spiritual tribulation not only to strengthen us, but they also make us appreciate the calm weather that much more!
Fall brings the cooler breezes and beautiful autumn colors, but also the “falling away” of things in our lives like children leaving home, moving to a new place and leaving friends behind, etc. Yet we must remember that it is all in preparation for new things God is bringing!
During spiritual seasons of Fall, the coolness and relief from the heat may also bring the loss of things. There may be things that bring relief when they fall away such as bad habits or the chains of materialism, but there may be other life circumstances that we don't understand such as the loss of a job or the loss of good health.
Spiritual seasons of Fall may cause us to doubt God. Even Elijah went through such a season after his heated "summer season" dealing with Ahab, Jezebel and the prophets of Baal. After such a great victory for God, Elijah ran into the wilderness filled with fear and doubting God. He experienced a season of coolness and falling away, yet God was consistently faithful.
Finally there is Winter…a time when the earth seems to take a break and rest. Although these times may appear dreary and confine us, even these times are needed for the new growth coming in Spring again.
God knew not only the earth needs intervals of rest, but we as His children also need times of rest. He even set the example in the beginning.
"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done." Genesis 2:1-3 NIV
So no matter which of the spiritual seasons it feels like we’re in, there is good taking place because of God’s work in and through us. On those dreary, overcast days, it is important we remember that even though we can’t see the sun (Son) it (He) is there!
When we find ourselves complaining about the seasons or daily weather, let it remind us to look for the blessings of it and be thankful. Let it remind us that God is at work in every season…especially in the seasons of our lives!
Ecclesiastes 3:1“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:" NIV
Ezekiel 34:26“I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” NIV