There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
God’s Word declares every season is set apart. It is marked by particular events, challenges, necessities, lessons, and purpose. Every season combines with other seasons to complete a person’s life and purpose on earth. Individual seasons cannot stand alone in isolation. Seasons are dependent on each other for context of meaning. Growth is only possible because of the combination of seasons.
We could identify broad terms in an effort to capture the essence of each season: spring=renewal, summer=beauty, fall=productivity, and winter=dreariness. Yet single words don’t begin to portray the full scope of each season. Different parts of the world experience natural seasons in a variety of ways. Different people experience spiritual seasons in a variety of ways. How one person responds to a situation in a spiritual winter differs from another person’s response to a similar situation. How one person celebrates during a spiritual summer differs from another’s celebration. Productivity differs. Renewal differs. There’s variation in spiritual seasons, yet there is also consistency.
- Seasons change, assuring us nothing is permanent.
- Seasons change without our control.
- Seasons require adaptation.
- Seasons don’t always make sense.
- Seasons invite awe and appreciation.
How have you specifically experienced one or more of these facts of seasons?
God will use every spiritual season of your life. He wastes nothing. If it’s in your life, it can and will be used by God.
- You can choose to appreciate the beauty of what God is placing in front of you – or not.
- You can choose to be thankful for what God is providing you – or not.
- You can choose to learn the lessons God teaches you – or not.
- You can choose to adapt to changes around you – or not.
- You can choose to trust God through challenges – or not.
- You can choose to seek God’s perspective on each situation – or not.
- You can choose God – or not.
Every season is not enjoyable. Every season is not comfortable. Every season is not desirable. We want to avoid the uncomfortable and settle into seasons of comfort. We pull the covers over our heads and try to pass time as the challenges swirl around us, then tightly grab onto the celebrations, unwillingly to unclench our fists in hopes the moment will stay. We want to know what we can do to grow pleasant fruit in our lives as quickly as possible. We don’t like the waiting process. We don’t like not being able to see the connection between what we’re doing today and what happens in our lives tomorrow. We want life to make sense, but we have limited information, understanding, and perspective.
God has every detail. He knows each growing season of every area of each life – yours, mine, and every single person he’s ever created to live on earth. His purpose for us is driven with the passion of establishing an ever-deepening relationship with each and every individual. He uses what we experience as both good and bad to benefit us in a way that ultimately glorifies him. Each season places demands on us – expectations to rely on God, respond in obedience, and welcome results. We experience similarities across some seasons and situations, but others seem foreign to us. We get disoriented, discontent, and disappointed.
Every season requires sacrifice. In order to fully experience God’s purpose, we must yield to him as the one who guides and provides. He should be the only one we trust, because he is the only one who has perfect perspective. We think we can handle our experiences – past, present, and future – but we are vastly limited. Every season holds blessings for us. In order to fully experience each blessing, we must choose to set aside what we think and want, inviting God to consume us.
You might have a favorite natural season, but you cannot live in it every day of your life. The same is truth for spiritual seasons. Regardless of where you’d prefer to be, you will not be there every moment of your life. You can choose to sit and pout about it, or you can use the time given to you, learning the lessons and growing the way God purposes so that every season that follows is nourished by the preceding seasons.
Today’s post begins a series of Pure Growth, which will include excerpts from the study published under the same title. We’ll dig into a study of spiritual seasons, so we can choose pure growth, the purpose God intends for us. We’ll determine to embrace every time and every season, because we’ll grow in seeing and living life by God’s perspective.