In the Winter, things can look bleak. The sun doesn’t shine for days. Many things in nature look dead. The cold weather can keep you inside – isolated from others – longing for a change of season.
Then slowly, temperatures begin to rise. The sun peaks its head from behind the blanket of grey in the sky. A change of season is approaching.
We hear Christians talk about their “seasons”. A season of waiting. A season of rest. A season of joy. A season of busyness. A season of boldness. Sometimes a season of discouragement.
But seasons change.
Whether we are currently in a joyful or a sorrowful season, life isn’t stagnant. In nature and in life, things don’t stay the same forever.
As Solomon penned in Ecclesiastes:
‘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
Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary about this section of scripture, “Some of these changes are purely the act of God, others depend more upon the will of man, but all are determined by the divine counsel.”
When we are in seasons of plenty and gladness, we must prepare our hearts for our next season. Not to worry or be anxious, but to stock up on the knowledge of God’s goodness, mercy and grace. In Genesis 41 we see how Joseph stored away grain in years of prosperity in Egypt, so that there would be plenty during the coming years of famine. And he was wise to do so.
And when we are in seasons of sorrow or discouragement, we can begin to prepare for what is coming. Because, friends, a change of season is imminent. As with nature, even in times of dormancy, energy is being stored up for the coming burst of life that will be Spring. We will, once again, be light-hearted and full of joy.
So as certain as seasons change for us, God never changes. He is good. And He is merciful and gracious. This is why we can be grateful in all seasons. Grateful in the journey.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17