Outside my window there are thousands of beautiful yellow and red leaves falling to the ground. They are swirling down quickly as the sun glimmers through the trees and it is a beautiful sight. I love seasons. The way things change so that the earth can rest and grow and be harvested over and over again is phenomenal. Every season has a purpose and echoes to God’s grand design of creation.
Each seasons isn’t exactly the same as it was the previous year. In fact, we never know exactly what each season will hold until we are experiencing them. I’ve experienced summers that were so hot and humid we spent all of our time indoors in the air conditioning, or winters so long that I wanted to cry because the depression from gray skies and never-ending snow left me feeling like spring would never come. During those long winters, I felt like the winter was eating away at my hope of brighter and warmer days. Fortunately I was never really without hope because spring always comes. We always have the hope in the constant of revolving seasons. In late March I can cling to the memory of the warmth of the sun on the first spring day as it melts the snow away. Spring is a reminder the winter is over and life will begin growin up all around us.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think it is a coincidence that all of creation experiences seasons. Seasons around the globe are all different. In the same way, so are our spiritual seasons. Spiritual seasons are inevitable just as the changing from fall to winter or winter to spring. God grows new life in us as well through our own personal seasons. Think back on one of the most fruitful spiritual seasons of your life and consider why it was fruitful. Had you just come out of a hard season of wrestling with God? Maybe you were using your God-given gifts in a way that were producing fruit and changing lives all around you. Maybe it was that you figured out a way to carve out time to sit and be in the Word daily and you felt closer to God than ever before. Whatever your fruitful season looked like, remember it. If you are in that season now, relish in it and soak it up. Be grateful to God for a season such as this and praise Him for it.
You may be going through a tough spiritual season right now. You are doubting God’s goodness or maybe you are having to cling to Him for all your strength. Life circumstance of divorce, disease, job-loss, the death of a close friend or family member, infertility, hurt, or anger can send us into a new season of life. While they are unexpected at the time, we must all be aware that they are inevitable. Our bodies are constantly deteriorating and people are messy, so we will run into conflict in one way or another. You may be in the first year of this season or in year ten of what feels like the longest, hardest spiritual season of your life. These things can make us feel like we are far away from God, but I want to encourage you to talk to Him because He is with you. Wrestle through the tough times with with the only One who can see you in every season.
Being honest with God about my feelings is not always easy. I don’t want to disappoint God, so when I’m praying I try to say all the right things and even focus my prayers on other people. While these things are not bad, they hinder my intimacy with God. In the past I have struggled to talk to Him about myself because I don’t want Him to think I am upset with Him for my circumstances. I forget I’m in a relationship with Him and to grow that relationship in a more intimate way I have to be honest. It is baffling to me that I know God already knows every detail of my life and yet I still try to hide parts from Him.
Right now I feel like I’m in a season that feels somewhere in the middle between complete struggle to fully fruitful. I’m not struggling like I have before but life is still somewhat of a struggle. I’m still sowing away, trying to be who God made me to be but I feel like I’m in a fog. It’s hard to see through that fog to what is on the other side. I get stuck in the routine of checking off the boxes and masking feelings. I know I’m not alone in this because I’m sure we all have seasons where we feel like we are constantly sowing the field, waiting in anticipation to reap the harvest, but the longer we wait the more we doubt harvest time will come. Here’s the thing, God is still who He says He is in every season. He is faithful and just and worthy of all our praise in every season.
My last blog post allowed me to share about when I struggled through miscarriage and infertility. During that time in my life, Desert Song by Hillsong was popular and we often sang it at church. I remember times it was hard for me to get the through the song without crying and times when it was all I could do to keep from shouting the words at the top of my lungs because I knew them to be true. I’ve sung the song so many times the words of the bridge still ring around in my head.
“All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing.
I have a reason to worship.”
The verses of the song remind us we will have times where life feels dry, we will have trials and pain, and we will have our own battles to face, but we are co-heirs with Christ and He has defeated death for us. The chorus then reminds us to bring Him praise, to rejoice and declare that God is my victory and He is here! I cannot even express how excited I get just talking about this! The way the song ends reminds me of my calling and gets me choked up every time I sing it.
“This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow.
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow.”
Whatever season you are in, know that how you are feeling is okay, but those feelings do not have to be permanent or be hidden. Be real about those feelings with God because He sees you right where you are and He will never leave you. Through our faith in the saving grace of Jesus, we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13) The Holy Spirit is God dwelling in us, so don’t ever think for a moment that God is far away because He couldn’t be closer. Hang on dear friends, in whatever spiritual season you are in, lay your insecurities, doubts, and weariness at the feet of a God who loves you unconditionally and sees you in every circumstance. Lean on others who can remind you of this truth when you are empty and be the one to lavish this truth upon others when you have been filled up–and throughout all your life, in every season give Him all your praise.