Seasons of Life by Stella Lee
Blessed Sacrament Church bulletin Spotlight October 2019
Just as the earth experiences the four seasons, your life cycle has its seasons too. Walking through your spiritual seasons brings on changes, new blessings and challenges.
What seasons in life are you currently experiencing? Are you in dry season, a happy season, waiting for something season, grinding season, tests and trials season, the list is endless. Sometimes it is difficult to recognise the seasons in life you are in and it can be even more difficult to know how to live fully in Christ during it. In a natural sense, seasons change. There is winter, spring, summer and autumn. So do spiritual seasons in your lives.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “for everything there is a season.” And in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God made everything because of its time.” The first step to flourish in any season is to recognise which one you are in.
Here are some spiritual seasons in life.
The dry season
It is a tough season when God is quiet and you can’t hear His voice or sense His presence. He seems very distant. This season of spiritual dryness can be very jarring. Suddenly your life experience does not line up with what you know to be true about God. He guides His children. Why can’t I sense it? If He cares, why doesn’t I feel it?
The key in getting through this challenging season is to realise that you are in it and press through it. Draw close to God despite how far away He feels. Don’t wither up. Continue to read His Word, talk to Him even though He is quiet because He is there. He hasn’t left you.
This spiritual dry spell can come after walking through difficulties, spending time in hard heartedness or sin. Examine your life and check to see if there is any heart issue or unconfessed sin. If you discover it, confess it to God and repent because “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all righteousness. ” 1 John 1:9.
The dry season doesn’t last forever. It will change. Just keep the faith, keep trusting Him, keep going to church, keep praising and worshipping Him even when it is hard and confusing. The rain is coming.
The waiting season
Waiting is not easy. “Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:7. Whether you are waiting for a difficult situation to change or for God to fulfill a promise, the waiting season can range from mildly annoying to maddening.
In the story of Joseph in Exodus, God leverages waiting season for His glory and for our good. From Abraham’s story in Genesis we know that waiting might last a very long time. But we also know from Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel pouring your heart out to God and waiting on Him is worthwhile.
In this season of waiting, trust that God is pruning you. He is chiseling away what is not needed for the next season. He is making you ready, so let Him work however long it takes. This season will one day be over. But a time of waiting is fairly guaranteed to happen again in life. Rather than end your waiting, He wants to bless your waiting with the gift of Himself. Keep the faith. Don’t doubt God’s plan and goodness and wait with expectancy. David cried to God in Psalm 5:3 “Each morning I bring my request to you and wait expectantly.” God is listening and knows exactly where you are. He has not forgotten you.
The grinding season
It is also known as the busy season. You don’t have enough time to get things done in life. Sometimes you have big projects or meet people that need more of your time. Busyness is becoming a value in our culture and not something we should chase. If you find yourself in a busy season, chase after God. The key to succeed in this time is seeking God for direction. Recognise and organise what need to get done, then plod through those priorities to help alleviate undue stress “In His hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to Him.” Psalm 95:4.
The whole world doesn’t rest in your hand. It rests in God’s hand. Pace yourself and your tasks. Breathe. Pray. Take a lunch break. Then carry on in your grind and press through with the strength God gives you. Rely on the Holy Spirit to lead and help you.
The tests and trials season
If you are going through some hard times in this season, know that God is with you in the midst of it all. He is totally at work. It is hard when you are in the middle of it and you might not understand what you are going through or why. But God knows and in due time all will be revealed. In the meantime, don’t give up or get tired. “Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ” Galatians 6:9. If you need comfort, let God comfort you. If you need strength beyond yourself, let Him strengthen you. If you need wisdom, ask and the Bible promises it will be given to you. James 1:5. As hard as the tests and trials may be, allow God to be God. Allow Him to do the supernatural work that only He can do. Allow Him to strengthen and increase your faith in this season of hardship or affliction. Fix your eyes and thoughts on Jesus, not your trials. He is the God who understands every temptation, suffering and pain and your weaknesses. “For our light and momentary troubles are actually for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. ” 2 Corinthians 17-19.
The spiritual warfare season
If you are in this season, gird up. If you are being spiritually attacked, you are doing something right that Satan doesn’t like but whether or not you are walking faithfully, the enemy will wage war against you. It comes with being Christian. But don’t be afraid. Remember the story of Job. God is always in complete control.
It is a wonderful thing being God’s child. He fights for you. You just lean into Him and rely on Him by praying and reading His Word. He will take care of the rest. This is not a natural battle against flesh and blood. But against the rulers, authorities, the power of this dark world and spiritual forces. With this spiritual battle in mind, put on your full spiritual armour. “Therefore put on the full armour of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all these, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:13-17. These are your weapons, so don’t leave them at home and walk into the battle alone.
The happy season
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing song of praise.” James 5:13. This is the fun season and all is well. But you still have a job to do. In this season praise God. Praising Him is something you should do in every season because He is worthy of praise. Sing your song to Him. How has He been good to you? Here are some Psalms to get you started. Psalms 95:10, 103, 148, 150. 1 Chronicles 16:18-36.
The seasons will come and go many times throughout your life. Learn to dance with them. Embrace each changing of the seasons in stride. Honour the seasons when they come and to fully experience and appreciate what they have to offer you. Pain and suffering come from trying to paddle upstream against the current of life. We struggle when we try to attach ourselves to a particular season, the person we were during that season and the things we thought we had.
Life is found in yielding to the river and allowing the universe to take us on the adventure that it wants us to live. When we embrace every season in our lives fully and stop resisting, we become more alive.