Tuesday, October 8, 2013

There is a season

There is a beautiful quote that keeps running through my mind. I've heard it many times but until today I had never looked for its source. A quick search on Google brought me to the originator of this little line. L.M. Montgomery wrote in Anne of Green Gables, “I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” 
Has there ever been a more perfect statement spoken in the midst of the changing fall colors of the North East United States? Few things in this world rival the brilliance of the leaves changing from green to orange. The array of colors is stunning, the smell is distinct. This time of year is magical.
God, in His great imagination, has blessed us with summer, spring, fall and winter. He has given us the consistency of knowing which comes next while still keeping us in suspense. How long each will last? As each season comes about there are new wonders to behold that are special and unique to that season alone. The tomatoes of late summer cannot be found with the asparagus of spring. The snow flakes in January are a distant memory in the hot sun of July. Each season has its own beauty and appeal. 
The quote that has occupied so much of my mind's attention could really be said about most any month of the year. I am so glad that I live in a world with Januarys and Aprils. I'm so glad there are Junes, Augusts and Decembers. I could say it for each month. Each captures my heart for one reason or another. Even March, the month where snow is taking its toll and Northerns grunt in unison at each weather report, has its appeal. The late days in March where the warm sun breaks through freezing cold breath hope and new life into our chilled bones. It reminds us that, once again, we will soon break free from winter's hibernation. There is excitement in the air of even the month of March.
I believe that God has given us the four seasons as a wonderful picture of our own lives. We will all go through seasons. Some seasons may seem more appealing to us than others. Sometimes a particular season may seem to drag on, much like a late snow storm in April. We tend to forget that warmth will once again unthaw our frozen finger tips. The seasons will keep changing. Where we are in this moment, for good or ill, will someday change. The leaves will turn. The flowers will bud. The snow will fall. Our current season in life is for a limited time only.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us of this truth, "To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven." You are probably familiar with this passage. It goes on to name all of the different seasons in life: healing and breaking down, planting and plucking, laughing and crying. God has created seasons for all of these emotions and circumstances.
During the difficult seasons of life it is easy to forget that some day "this too shall pass." We aren't always privy to the timetable in which the seasons will change. Predictions are always made about how long and how severe each season's weather will be, but often the meteorologist's predictions are wrong. The same goes with our own lives. We can't foresee what God has ahead. That is for Him to know and for us to trust in.
My prayer and hope for you is that you will find comfort in knowing that God controls the seasons of your life just like He controls the seasons of our calendar year. Have you ever experienced a year where God didn't bring about all four seasons? Has He ever skipped over the budding of flowers in spring or the first snowfall of winter? No, He is absolutely faithful.
He will be faithful in your life. Today the season you find yourself in may be one that is stretching your faith to its limits. You may be feeling alone, abandoned and helpless. But hold tight to God's promises. He is still the master of your destiny, the changer of the seasons. Remain steadfast in your devotion and dedication to God. Hold fast to His word and rest in His love. Find comfort in the way He changes the leaves on the trees in fall. Find solace in the first snow flake of winter. Just as He never abandons the seasons, He will never abandon you.
If you feel stuck remember that God hasn't forgotten you. His plan is still at work. He still cares for you and has a marvelous plan for you. The season He has for you right now may last longer than you expected but God isn't working off of your calendar. He has His own and it is always flipped to the right day, month and year. He hasn't made a mistake. He hasn't forgotten to turn the leaves orange. He may just be letting a certain season linger on longer than you anticipated.
Today as I run amidst the changing colors of fall I will praise God for His mighty hand over the changing seasons. I will thank Him for Octobers, thank Him for Januarys, thank Him for seasons of joy, thank Him for seasons of isolation. I will thank Him for never forgetting that after the cold of winter comes the flowers of spring. I will thank you God for each and every season.

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