I recently read about the spiritual seasons in our life which exist as do the physical seasons of nature and our life as a person. It resonated with me. I realized that the bible study I am writing from my book and the outline for workshops I will lead both follow a similar pattern. It became very clear to me that we will function best in our life and in our spiritual walk if we live within our current season and not try to move out of it too soon or act in ways that do not fit.
The “dark night of the soul” time I discuss and the searching, questioning, lamenting that goes with it are like the winter season. Winter tends to be darker, and more still; nature is hibernating and storing up rather than growing and blooming. It can be like a wilderness time, when you can’t quite see the path ahead and are not sure of direction or what lies in the future. Plants die and prepare for new life in the spring. Spiritually, this can be a time to pause from activities to reflect; to press in deeper to hear what God has to say and where He wants to lead you next. This may also be a time to let certain things die- possibly relationships, things you are currently involved in, plans which may not be for now. This is a time of surrender and letting go of anything which may hold you back from fulfillment in the coming seasons. Rather than a time that God seems so far away; by stilling ourselves, seeking, and listening intently, this may be a time that we draw closer to God than ever before.
Then comes spring! Spring is my favorite season, as new life breaks through and colors burst forth. This is a time of newness and breakthrough. Hope seems so representative of spring. Just as a bud of a crocus poking through the soil signals the coming of the new life, spring growth and vibrancy; allowing hope to rise in our heart begins the move from the dark winter of our spirit to the new perspective, trusting in God’s goodness and the belief that He has something good ahead for us. The seeds that you have planted in your life are beginning to come to bloom. Dreams begin to stir in our heart again. We are being restored and renewed and now can begin to move forward in the revelation of God’s calling for us which became clearer during that still winter season. Let your hope and faith arise!
So we have God’s promise in Psalm 1 that we will bear fruit and we will prosper. Our growth, moving in the gifting and calling in our life, begins to manifest in our summer season. Our confidence grows during this time and our relationship with God can move to a new level of faith and intimacy. This is a time to enjoy the fullness of life, to appreciate the blessings we have, to feed what is growing inside us by continuing to spend time in prayer and reading the Word of God. As joyous as this season might be, we also must be watchful to keep balance in our life and to guard against anything that might damage or hinder what we are doing.
Summer is the beautiful season to watch as God brings forth the masterpiece He has been creating in you from the broken pieces of your life. This is the time to discover, accept, and celebrate the ways God has made you unique, special, and beautiful in His eyes. As we find our significance and worth in Him, we can live healed and whole and begin to give back to others what He has given us. This is a time to reflect on what kind of legacy we can leave to those who know and love us; how we can make a difference in the world, even in small ways. We can pause and examine if the fruit of the spirit is shining through in our life. This is a time to search your heart for the dreams He has placed there and those you may have had which got buried under the cares of life.
Autumn or fall is considered a time of harvest. This is a time to celebrate what has grown in the summer and to reap what we have sown. Fall also signifies a time of thanksgiving for what we have been blessed with. If we have done well in the other seasons of our life, we should see a fulfillment of our dreams, calling, and impact in the lives of others and for God”s Kingdom. As I move closer to the fall season of my life, I do not see it as a time to sit back and relax or focus just on the pleasures of life. I view it as time of taking all that I have experienced, learned, and matured in to live as fully as possible. I want to help others, make an impact, and leave a legacy of love, hope, and faith to those I have encountered. I hope to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” when I die and not be questioned why I buried talents or didn’t make the most of what was deposited in me.
I hope you are encourage, too, to follow the seasons in your life and fulfill the calling you have in the right time.