As I walk into work each morning, I have started to notice the first signs of spring. Daffodils are in bloom despite the weather we’ve endured the past few weeks here in Edinburgh. But there is the promise of a new season. Spring has just begun, and while I am still wrapping up in my heavy winter coat, I am clinging to the promise that spring is coming. It is on its way (this is at least what the weather experts tell me). Even now as I write this, I can hear the wind howling outside my window. It is time for a new season, indeed.
I have thought a lot recently about how our lives, like the weather, experience much change: unexpected storms, heavy downpours, powerful gusts.
Each of us goes through different seasons in our lives. Some are seasons of joy or excitement, while others are characterised by sadness and anxiety. And sometimes, those seasons that feel particularly dark, can last for what seems like months on end.
A very wise person, referred to as the Teacher, wrote about this in Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (NIV)
It’s amazing to think what a drastic turn life can take, even in an instant.
If I look back at my own life and think of difficult seasons I have endured, I immediately think of spring 2014. It was a period of my life where things were at a standstill and I felt in every sense of the word, ‘stuck in a rut’. It was a season of anxiety and discontent, and God was teaching me how to ‘wait’ on Him. And for an impatient person like myself, this was agonisingly difficult! While I struggled to see God in that particular season, I know that He was walking me through it. I was learning perhaps one of the most important faith lessons – learning to trust Him and trusting that His plans for my life were better than my own. That season was a time of refining and reshaping. It was difficult to endure at the time, but I had the opportunity to see God’s faithfulness, and to experience his Hove for me.
Whatever our current situation or present experience, no matter how uncertain or fearful it may seem, there is hope we can cling to – Jesus is walking us through this season of life. He is right there beside us, whether that’s cheering us on in a season of excitement or comforting us through a season of brokenness – He promises to never leave us.
Are you in a season of joy right now? Or maybe life feels more difficult for you than it was this time last year? Whatever season of life you find yourself in right now, may you have peace in knowing that our Heavenly Father is a good Father. And He has planned good things for us. Seasons may come and go and circumstances in our lives may change, but one thing that remains constant is the Father’s love for us.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)