Ecclesiastes 13:1-8 is a well known portion of scripture, summed up in its opening verse:
Eccl 13: 1 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…
God created the natural cycles of day and night, years and the seasons. Gen 1:4 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.
Life doesn’t proceed in a linear fashion; it moves in seasons – cyclical rhythms. Different responses are needed in different seasons. What is right for one season may be inappropriate or unnecessary in another. Think of some of the characteristics of each of the four seasons:
- Summer: a time of harvest, joy, holidays, ‘rest & recreation’, storing up for the future, but also dryness and scorching heat. We enjoy summer, but we need the other seasons to sustain life.
- Autumn: a time where winds of change blow through your life, of feeling unsettled, uncertainty, the ground shifting, cultivation of the ground in preparation for the season to come, pruning, things seem to be cooling down or even dying off.
- Winter: barrenness, darkness, no evident life, things seem to be at a halt, lack of apparent progress, growth is hidden, you’re in a valley, things don’t feel as exciting as they used to, a time of introspection and internal searching.
- Spring: new life, breakthrough, growth, emerging fruit, productivity, passion reignited, sowing seed, new dreams and visions, movement, rapid change.
3 keys to handling different seasons in your life:
1. Submit to the season you’re in. Job 38:32 Can you direct the sequence of the seasons…? No, we can’t change the seasons; their timing is beyond our control. Go through each one with an attitude of humility and a heart that’s open to God. Ask “What’s He doing right now?”
2. God is in every season – even the difficult ones; the times when you feel as if He’s far away; even in those times when the daily grind seems never-ending. Notice how often we wish it was another time of year? Are we continually longing for a different season, either from the past or in the future? Or am I learning to choose to be content with where God’s got me right now? In Mat 6:11, when Jesus says ‘Give us this day our daily bread…’ He is talking about having a daily reliance on God. God has a way of anchoring us to the present. Seek Him out every day and tap into His strength no matter what difficulties you are facing. He is there with us just as much in the winter, even when we can’t seem to find Him so easily, as in the summer, when we seem to feel his touch readily. “Where is God at work right now?”
3. Every season has a purpose. Looking back, you can often see that you learned and grew the most in the hardest times. They are also probably the times when we learn to rely on God most. We can learn and gain from every experience we go through. “What is He helping me learn right now?”
Seasons apply to every area of life. Developing the ability to recognise what season we’re in and doing our best to remain flexible enough to learn the lessons we need to will help us progress onto the next phase. Be willing to adapt, grow, learn and move. How we handle each season will prepare us for those that follow. And we should be careful not to judge those going through difficult times harshly, because none of us are immune to hardship.
Seasons can be observed in relationships; finance; different decades; our education/career; and the different stages of our spiritual growth.
‘Every morning is a fresh beginning; every day is the world made new. Today is a new day; today is my world made new. I have lived all my life up to this moment, to come to this day. This moment – this day – is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day – each moment of this day – a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity.’ Dan Custer
Ps 1:3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.