At last the transition from summer to autumn is kicking in. The better sports are underway; early Saturday mornings to watch the U/13’s ply their soccer skills on the pitch. The long awaited NRL and AFL seasons are back. I enjoy cricket, the warmer days, and later daylight hours, but change feels overdue when it comes. As summer morphs into autumn and autumn into winter, I love the increasing chill on the morning air; the smell and sound of rain; rugging up to go out; sitting by the heater with a good book; the list could on.
Life is made up of seasons, not just the annual weather patterns but all kinds – physical, emotional, and spiritual. The book of Ecclesiastes famously puts it: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted ………………..”(3:1-8). Here are a few thoughts on the seasons of life.
A. Seasons bring balance: overabundance of prosperity and we end up like spoilt children. Endless trials and we are prone to despondency. God in wisdom and mercy brings both upon us – the green pastures of refreshment and the dark valleys of refinement. They are not equally pleasant but they are equally necessary; both serve a purpose in different ways. Then there are the intermediate seasons which probably characterise the majority of our days – a mixture of ups and downs at the same time. This makes for stability in that we are not continually thrust between extremes.
B. Seasons prevent life from becoming stale: regularity and familiarity are good things, but they can also lead to stagnation and the sense of self-sufficiency. Times of change bring us into different experiences; they produce different facets of learning and maturity; they create different opportunities of service. Seasons mean that we are stretched and our perspective and outlook develops. God is in the business of sanctifying and growing His people and one of His tools is the tool of change. If our circumstances didn’t change, neither would we.
C. God is to be found in all of life’s seasons: whatever stage we are at in life, and whatever season we may be passing through, He is always with us. God brings change upon us that we might seek Him and find Him afresh. He reveals Himself in the valley in ways He does not on the mountain; we discover different aspects of His love, power, and wisdom according to the season He has placed us in. Furthermore, change reminds us that we are not masters of our own destiny; we are subject to providence and dependent upon God whatever our lot in life.
Thanks be to God change is here to stay!