As I stepped outside to walk my dog a few nights ago, I was shocked by how cold it had gotten. Snow had softly fallen and the air was crisp and cool. Wow, I thought to myself. I’m tired of being cold all the time. I can’t wait for spring.
You see, I find my reaction quite humorous. As soon as I began mentally complaining, I stopped myself. I was frustrated because I want to have a good attitude. I tell myself that I want to do everything without arguing or complaining (Philippians 2:14). So greatly do I desire to just be thankful for the circumstances God has given me, but there are times when I slip up. As unfortunate as it may be, I’m human. :)
And, so, I laughed. Right there on the quiet street as my dog jumped through the snow, I laughed. Oh, Emily. Embrace the season. I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me. So, I listened.
As good ‘ol Corah and I walked up and back down the street, I thought about how each season of weather serves a purpose. Right now as we are in winter, it can feel dull and dreary. At first the fresh snow is exciting, but as we experience week after week of coldness and little sunlight, we become less enthusiastic about this time of year (at least up here in the Midwest!). We can’t wait for the day when snow and ice melt, carrying in the new life of spring.
If the colder weather of fall and then winter did not come, the plants would not die, thus being unable to create the new life of springtime. This sometimes dreary season serves a purpose. It can be difficult, but it is necessary. While I am no meteorologist, and know little about seasons, I do know the reason we have seasons is because the earth’s axis is tilted. When the Northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, we experience the summer solstice. When the Southern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, we up North experience the winter solstice.
If the earth needed to be tilted toward the sun in order to have more pleasant, warmer seasons, then why didn’t God set things up differently? While this isn’t a question I’m anywhere near qualified to answer, I think it’s safe to say that when He created the world and its seasons, He did so with purpose. While the transitions in and out of seasons may be difficult, they are opportunities for growth. Change is a good thing. God knew what He was doing when he crafted the seasons.
The same thing can be said for the seasons of our lives. Like the physical seasons in our atmosphere, life’s seasons serve a purpose. Sometimes we are desperately awaiting a new one, while others times we are trying to savor each moment of the precious season we are in, longing for consistency. Each season presents a new source of both good and bad attributes. We face encouraging times and also times of grief and despair. But, even in the ups and downs, God is still working.
He is using the circumstances of our lives to mold us into people more like His Son.
I’m at an interesting place in my life. The next season is in sight, but as I’m preparing to enter it I’m getting sad. Even though I know that in a lot of ways it will be better, it will still be hard. With each season, we gain and we lose. There will be great opportunities, but also times of great despair.
What I’ve realized is that I need to embrace each season for what it has for me. In each season, I need to stop and ask what I can learn from both the good and the bad times. What is God trying to teach me? How is He trying to use me for the Gospel? And, most importantly, am I being obedient in His call for my life right now?
I’m choosing to embrace the season where I am. I’m choosing to look to the next season, but not speed there or slow down on the way. In everything I will seek God and what He is trying to do through me. There’s so much uncertainty. I could worry all day about what relationships I’d miss out on by moving into the next season or what opportunities I wouldn’t have if I stayed right here. However, the worrying isn’t worth it; in fact, it’s detrimental to my walk with the Lord. Jesus tells us to seek His Kingdom first and everything else will be given to us (Matthew 6:33).
As God is taking me into the next season, I am remembering that He loves me and wants the best for me. He isn’t going to take me away from His best. Just because I move into the next season doesn’t mean all the good things from this season will be gone. He will give me what I need and will always be working for my good.
In Romans 8:28 Paul writes, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I take hope in knowing that in each season, God works for my good. He loves me and will be there as I embrace all that he has purposed.