Seasons. On the earth that God created, we experience four different seasons, each one bringing differences in the weather, each one having different characteristics, and each one serving a different purpose. In many parts of the world, winter brings the cold. Trees are bare, the grass is not as green, and the landscape looks dull and bleak. But then spring comes and plants come to life, new leaves sprout on the trees, and the landscape looks bright and colorful. The summer brings the warmth of the sun and bright sunshine, and then the fall arrives and the leaves begin to fall, signaling a return to the cold, bleak winter.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, we read that there are seasons for everything in life, a time for everything and for every matter under heaven. There are times for birth and times for death. There are times to plant and times to reap. There are times to break things down and times to build them up. There are times to weep and to laugh, times to mourn and to dance, times to seek and times to lose. There are times for love and times for hate, times for war and times for peace. Just like the seasons of the earth, each season of life brings something different from, and often opposite to, another season.
There are seasons in our spiritual lives, as well. There may be times when, like the plants in spring, we are growing, when we are seeing the move of the Holy Spirit clearly in our lives. Then there may be times when, like the summer, we feel the warmth of the Son as we walk with Him, when all around us looks and feels right. During these seasons, we feel at our closest to God. But, there also may be times when we start to feel as if God is farther away. These may be times when the trials of life begin to pull at us. It may start gradually, like the fall, but eventually, we may feel as if God has abandoned us. We are in a season like that right now with the pandemic that has gripped the world and the divisions that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At times like these, things look as bleak as winter.
The good news is that God never abandons us. He is with us always. When He seems far away, it’s not because God has pulled away from us but rather, we have pulled away from Him. But, He is always there, no matter what season we are in. What season are you in right now? If you feel like you are in fall or winter, reach out to God. When you do, you will experience new growth and a new closeness to God as a new season begins.