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. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, NIV
Many have remarked that this past winter in the Cape has been brutal – it just seemed to start early and drag on longer than usual. Load-shedding had certainly not helped to alleviate discomfort. Conversely, friends and family abroad have reported excessively hot weather and struggles of a different kind altogether. Everyone expressed the same sentiment – they could not wait for the change of season to come.
Yet, seasons are a phenomenon. In the life cycle of plants, there is a time for the germination process to take effect; for plants to put down roots and then sprout stems; and depending on the type of plant, grow taller, etc. Finally, trees, for example, bear fruit. Harvesting follows. All the seasons are necessary for food: thus vitally important in support of life on the planet.
Less apparent are the seasons we go through spiritually and understanding when they have changed. Sometimes, we have a gut feeling that something like a tenure, friendship or phase etc. is over, not fully understanding why necessarily.
In the springtime of our faith, things seem easy – exciting even. But sometimes, we go through life with prolonged periods of difficulty: perhaps we are struck down with disability, and our faith feels like we are in some sort of a winter – mind-numbingly cold, dark and isolated. Summer feels as though it will never come around again.
At this time, some friends and family members are experiencing relatively serious health challenges. Some of their lives will not return to “normal” ever again.
Another dear friend has just moved abroad with her family. The season in her life is challenging in a different way. For the Christian in each situation, not only is it going to be an opportunity to grow in individual faith and dependence on God, but those around them will also be called to serve in new ways.
It is amazing how God uses the various seasons of our individual lives to teach us, and those around us, new lessons of faith. Galatians 6:2,5,9-10 has produced some nuggets for how to navigate the seasons over the years: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ ... for each one should carry their own load ... Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Prayer: Praise the Lord that we can grow through every season of our Christian walk with fellow believers at our side and the Word of God guiding our every step. We are so thankful, God. Amen.