Unless you live in the tropics or at the extreme poles of the earth, each and every year you will experience the four climatological seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. For most of us, each season is distinctly different and offers some general characteristics. Depending upon where we are in our respective country, the new season may arrive earlier rather than later – example, spring arrives earlier for those of us in the USA that live in the South, with leaves appearing on the trees in March, while for those who live in the northern regions, such as North Dakota they don’t seem to really experience spring until the very end of April or even into May. Probably you, like I, have a favorite season of the year.
I think that my favorite season is Spring. It seems to me that the world is fresh in the spring. Plants are emerging from the soil, many animals are having babies, flowers start to bloom, and the grass and trees turn into vibrant shades of green. The days get longer and the air seems cleaner to me. Yes, we can have some significant storms in the spring time, and after those storms, it feels like everything is washed off fresh and clean.
When I was a child, my favorite season was summer. Summer meant camp, swimming, sunshine, ice cream, summer vacation from school, and pretty much carefree days. Depending upon where you live it’s also hot, hot, hot. And, in our neck of the woods it’s muggy. Some days we can take a shower in the morning, and as soon as we walk out the door, we are soaking wet from the humidity. The long days are wonderful with brilliant sunlight well into the evening.
Autumn in the USA is always a dazzling time. To see the leaves on the trees change in color is such a delight. The brilliant reds, oranges, and golds replace the vibrant greens and for a few weeks we have a spectacular display of vibrant colors all over the country, before things turn cold. Daylight gets shorter, and people prepare for the winter season. Fall starts the holiday season for many of us, and we look forward in eager anticipation to the upcoming holidays.
Winter, well what can I say about winter? It’s my least favorite season of all. I don’t like the cold, but I will say that it is a rather beautiful sight to see the sun glistening off of new fallen snow. It’s cold, cold, cold. It seems like the animals, and a lot of the people I know seem to go into “hibernation” mode. Driving can be tricky, especially for those of us who make their living out on the road. But things seem rather dead to me in the winter, with no leaves on the trees, and the grass is brown (when we see it). I think that the very short days and lack of sunlight in many areas of the country can be rather depressing. However there are many people who love winter, and maybe it’s those who have a little more of the “seize the day” type attitude, most likely they are people who ski and enjoy the brisk cold air on the mountain while they glide down through virgin snow at breakneck speeds.
In our personal and spiritual lives I think that we too experience seasons.
Let’s start with our spiritual winter. I liken a very difficult time, a time in which we are struggling, as a winter season in our lives. We are closed in, everything is cold and seems iced up, and there’s very little light. We wonder when, or if, this season will ever end. We wonder when the sun will come up, and stay up. We wonder if God cares, if God is there, if God is listening, and we don’t see God working in our lives.
In our spiritual spring, we are emerging from our winter, and there is hope that God is bringing us through, and finally out of, our winter season. Things begin to look up, we have a renewed hope blossoming in our spirit and we begin to believe that we can/have made it through the rough time. We see God moving in our lives and bringing about very needed change.
In our spiritual summer, we have fully emerged from the darkness, we are blooming where we are and we have a glorious carefree spirit. We know for sure that God has indeed rescued us, that He cares for and loves us. We are grateful. We are in harmony with God.
In our spiritual autumn, we have the last blaze of wonderful warmth and brilliant colors of God’s love sustaining us, but somehow or another, it begins to get dark. Things don’t go as well as we want and we begin to feel a certain heaviness in our spirit. We turn to God and ask for direction, we fret over the path upon which God is leading us, we wonder if we have the fortitude to go forward with what seems to be a daunting situation.
Just like the climatological seasons change annually, our seasons in our spiritual lives too will change. We will never be stuck in spiritual winter, nor will we ever remain in spiritual summer. The enemy will be sure to attack those who are in their spiritual summer, and continue to oppress those who are in their spiritual winter. But, there’s always hope for anyone in their spiritual winter, we know that God is always there with us. He’s always with us. You can trust in your spiritual spring He’s renewing your strength. In your spiritual summer He’s there rejoicing with you. In your spiritual autumn, He’s getting you prepared for some change. In your spiritual winter, He’s working some great change in you. I firmly believe that without those spiritual seasons in your life, you could never grow the roots that you need to keep you thriving and keep you growing in your relationship with God.
If you are in a spiritual winter, hang on, spring is coming!
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV)”