‘For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.’ — Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I love this verse. God knows and has appointed the perfect time for everything. No matter our circumstances, God will work all things (the good and the bad) together for the good of His children (Romans 8:28). His timeline often looks much different than our own and it can be hard to understand why things are happening when they do. Something I find difficult is being present in the season I am in without focusing so much on what might be coming next.
I like to think that I am a patient person. Yes, I could always use more patience, but for the most part, I’m pretty patient. Except when I’m waiting for an answer from God. Too often I will ask God a question about myself or about my future and I don’t wait very long for an answer. Either I get busy and don’t listen very hard for His answer or I plow forward whether that was really where God was leading me or not.
In high school, I felt so much pressure to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life so that I could plan my courses accordingly. I wish there was a general course list and grade average that, if achieved, could get you almost anywhere. Unfortunately, that is not how I was prepared for post-secondary and life. Honestly, what I wanted to do with my life when I was in high school is not even close to what I’m actually doing (and loving).
Yes, it’s good to look to the future to prepare. But what if we just sat patiently with the Lord and took every day at it’s own pace, listening carefully for God’s direction? It doesn’t mean sitting and doing nothing until God gives us something to do. We can still be doing life while pressing in to God and allowing His Holy Spirit to lead us towards His perfect plan for our lives.
Paul writes in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Paul has learned the art of being content with whatever he has been given no matter what season he finds himself in. What if, through every season listed above, we allowed God to be our constant? God promises that He “is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), regardless of what is happening in our lives or the world.
Another thought I have regarding seasons is that they are called “seasons” for a reason. Winter doesn’t last forever – eventually the snow melts and new life is able to grow. Whatever season you are in, whether good or bad, it won’t last forever. As life takes place, our seasons change, and the best way to walk through those seasons is to learn to be content no matter what your situation looks like. A few years ago, there was this theme for a lot of people that they were walking through a very difficult season. It was a particularly long winter season both physically and spiritually. But on the other side of that season, when the spring finally came, it was absolutely beautiful.
We can’t avoid walking through the difficult seasons. When we are willing to embrace every season, holding fast to God’s promises, our faith can grow and we will see the fruit of pressing in to God and abiding in Him. I believe that nothing happens “randomly”. I mean, a random act of kindness was planned by someone, even if it seems random to the receiver. When we submit ourselves to God’s sovereignty, we will be able to face each season with the assurance that He will provide whatever we need.
Will you join me in trusting in God’s plans for your life, even if the season you are currently in is difficult and you can’t see the other side? God knows the big picture, He sees what is coming. Trust Him to provide exactly what you will need to get through this season and prepare you for the next.