Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Longest Season of my Life

Submitted by Lara Cook
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up 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 together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I don’t think I can ever remember a time when I have been so glad to see the first day of spring as I am this year.  This winter has been the longest winter of my life.  In all my 46 years I cannot remember having this much bad weather in one year.  Of course I am not naive enough to believe that just because the calendar says it is the first day of spring that magically flowers are going to grow, birds are going to sing, and most of all the beautiful, warm sun is going to shine.  But it is a promise of things to come.  It means hope.

The passage in Ecclesiastes above speaks of different seasons.  We are all familiar with the four seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall, but there are many, many seasons in our lives.  They are such a small moment in the grand scheme of our lives but oh can they sometimes feel like an eternity!  Some seasons are over way too soon and we enjoy every moment of them.  Then there are other seasons that are just unbearable and we just don’t know if we can make it through.  These unbearable seasons are unfortunately – or rather fortunately – a necessary part of our lives.  It doesn’t feel fortunate sometimes.  We may experience very painful times in our lives but rest assured, they are painful in the moment but they are transforming you.  They are part of our journey, part of who God is making us become.  There is always the promise of hope – the next season around the corner. 

God uses every season to teach us something, to communicate to us something about Himself, something about His faithfulness, something about His love in sending His Son, something about His strength, something about His power.  Instead of crawling under a rock or hiding under the covers because it is the only place that feels good, try to see what it is that God is doing in your life during this season.  How can this season of life make you a better person, stronger, or ready for God’s purpose?  Of course, you may not be in the right place to ask this right now.  You may be using everything you can just to get through the days or you may not even be willing to hear what God is trying to tell you right now.  Hopefully when you are past this time you can look back and realize what was going on and why.  God has a purpose for every season of life, even the seasons that are not beautiful and even the seasons that are painful.  If you're going through a season of life, and you don't think much is happening, be faithful to God; keep trusting Him. You are going to grow through that experience. God is up to something even when we don't see Him working. So I want to encourage you whatever season of life you're in, pain or disappointment, victory: or success or some great blessing to see the hand of God in it. Life is a combination of contrasting seasons, pleasure and pain.  It is all for a purpose.  There is purpose in the pain as well as in the pleasure. 

This has been one of those long seasons for me and I am ready for the change of seasons.  I have the promise of better days ahead from my savior.  I know the sun will shine again soon.  I am anxious to feel the sun and the Son both – to sit and soak up both of them.  Spring is coming and following that season is summer.  There are better days ahead.  I think all of us will be glad to see the end of this winter.  Get out your sunglasses – the season is about to change!

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
-Albert Camus

Scripture to Claim:
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 

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