Pastor Jennifer Hesebeck — Excelsior United Methodist Church and Faith Community Church in Milford
Have you ever noticed that spiritual seasons come into our lives just like the earthly seasons God brings each year?
Here in northwest Iowa our seasons can be confusing. We can go from sunny, warm temperatures in the 70s one day and then drop back down to the 30s the next with icy rain. We laugh and say, “Well if you don’t like the weather today, just wait because tomorrow is sure to be different.”
What if your favorite season lasted year round? What if there was only one season? God knew what He was doing when He created the different seasons. The earth needs each of them, and we need the different seasons He brings into our lives too.
Fall brings the cooler breezes and amazing autumn colors, but also the “falling away” of things in our lives. Beach vacations are over, summer camps shut down, children leave home for school. Growing seasons conclude and those beautiful leaves begin to fall. Spiritual seasons of fall may cause us to sense loss, yet we realize in the midst of this that it is all in preparation for new things to come. Even in a season of coolness and falling away, God is consistently faithful.
Then there’s Winter — a time when the earth seems to take a break and rest. Although these times may appear dreary and confining to us, even these times are needed for the new growth coming in spring again. God knew not only the earth needs intervals of rest, but we as His children also need times of rest. And on those cold, dreary days it’s important we remember that even though we can’t see the sun (Son) it (He) is there.
Finally, after what can seem like an endless sleep in the deep freeze, there are those seasons of spring when everything seems to be new and blooming. Spiritually, this may be when we first come to know Christ as our Savior. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 Reading God's Word, fellowshipping with other believers, praying and spending time with God everyday is new and fresh. We feel new and fresh, and we are. Jesus has not only come into our lives and changed us, He has exchanged His life for ours. Seasons come more than once though, and during our spiritual life we get to enjoy several springs along the way as God brings new growth. Spring is certainly a time of beauty and new growth; however showers still come in nature as well as life. God uses them to help us grow in Him, and although He does not promise us a trial-free or rain-free life, He does promise to be with us, rain or shine.
Then there are seasons of summer when life seems warm and relaxed. A spiritual level of maturity or plateau has been reached for a time. And although our spiritual lives may seem somewhat stable, there may come extremely hot periods of spiritual challenges as well as summer afternoon thunderstorms. Both heat and storms can bring strength though, and God may use these times of turbulent weather or spiritual tribulation not only to strengthen us, but they also make us appreciate the calm weather that much more.
No matter which season we’re in — with our climate or our spirit — may we continually be reminded, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…He had made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1,11 God has everything under control, and He will continue to do a good work in us. Seasons change. God doesn’t.