The smell of Fall is in the air and signs of a new season are all around. The vibrant colors are starting to emerge on the trees, the farmers are harvesting their crops, the days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, I developed an appreciation for the natural seasons. Each season has its own unique rhythm and brings not only various weather patterns, but also different experiences that have etched a multitude of memories in my heart. Summer has always been my favorite season, with Fall a close second. Winter would be nice to have for just one month instead of three and Spring was highly anticipated as new life sprung up everywhere indicating summer was on its way again! As I grew up and my life began to unfold, I developed a more mature appreciation and understanding for not only the natural seasons, but for the seasons of life.
There have been seasons in my life that have brought me to my knees begging God for strength and courage just to survive them and then there have been seasons that have lifted my heart in exuberant joy. I have been refined, molded, edified, transformed, broken and rebuilt – throughout the seasons of my life. I have experienced great loss and tremendous gain. I have cried tears of deep pain and tears of deep joy. I have lived through devastating circumstances and have come out stronger and with a richer faith life. I have survived what some might think is the unthinkable, but through it discovered an inner strength that could only come from God.
Throughout every season, Our Lord has been my travel guide extraordinaire, knowing full well the terrain and having the best travel plan for me – accommodating for all my strengths and weaknesses, on my journey.
The seasons of my life have grown me into who I am today.
As Fall approaches, I am reminded of how different the transition from one season to the next can be. Sometimes the transition is seamless, but sometimes a different season may bring destructive storms from the shifting weather patterns, as we have recently and sadly seen in North Carolina these past few weeks. There is a familiarity with the seasons of the natural world and an awareness of what we might expect as we transition from one season to the next, but the seasons of life are not always as predictable and can change in a moment without any notice. How do we prepare ourselves for the inevitable change of seasons in life, whether we are expecting them or we are not?
First and foremost, PRAY! Pray for the grace to be prepared for the change of seasons in your life. Pray for the grace to embrace whatever season of life you enter into or you may be possibly thrust into. God is already in the future, He knows the road ahead of you. Ask Him to be your travel guide.
Listen and learn from others that have walked through the season you are approaching or you now find yourself in. For every season of life, there is someone who has walked in the same footsteps before you. Seek them out and glean from the wisdom they offer you.
Be acutely aware of the seasons that your brothers and sisters in Christ, the people God puts in your path each day, are going through. You never know when you might find yourself in the same season. Love them through the seasons they are in. Allow them to love you where you are. Grow and learn from each other to prepare your heart for whatever lies ahead.
God often strategically places people in our lives in order to prepare us for what lies ahead in our lives.
When someone new comes into your life, remember this.
Embrace each season you find yourself in, the good and the challenging seasons – births, deaths, sickness, health, plenty, poor, young, old, promotion, lost job, pay raise, pay cut. God is in the heart of each season of your life – calling you deeper into His heart and growing you into the person He has called you to be in this world. Let His grace flood in. Be transformed through the seasons of your life.
What season of life do you find yourself in? How can you grow through it?