See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come. –Song of Songs 2:11–12
As I write this—Friday morning—the day is overcast, rainy, cool, dreary. Patches of snow linger about the hillsides, in crevices—wherever the ground is in more shadow than sun. Where there isn’t snow, there’s mud or spongy, marshy terrain.
On days like this I’d rather strap on my CPAP mask, pull a pillow over my head, snuggle beneath a quilt, and succumb to slumber. Or bury my nose in a good book. Anything but look outside.
As I glance out the back patio door, though, I see clusters of green and white snowdrops pushing up through the rotting leaves of the forest floor behind my house. And I know the daffodils will soon emerge below the stone wall in the front yard.
I’m so ready for spring.
But not this wet, muddy, mushy mess that’s spring in these parts. Which is why spring is my least favorite season.
But it is what it is.
Not all good and not all bad.
Just like winter, which really isn’t as bad as we make it out to be.
Winter is a time for growing things to rest, for animals to hibernate. It’s a time when I spend long evenings crocheting, reading, or doing something I’d feel guilty doing when the weather’s nice and I can get outside without falling and breaking something.
Every season has its good aspects and not-so-good aspects. What we choose to focus on determines whether or not we find the joy in the season.
Just like life.
I’m not just referring to the seasons of life as we tend to think of them—childhood, youth, adulthood, middle age, and finally our sunset years.
I’m talking about the seasons of life-change—when our lives change in ways we don’t plan or want. A financial setback. Illness. Disability. A wayward child. A broken relationship. Betrayal. Death. Divorce. Anything that leads to brokenness—a broken heart, a broken spirit, broken dreams. Seasons of pain and drought and floods of tears. Seasons when the roads are impassable and we can go no further. Or, as the old timers say, when we get the stuffing knocked out of us.
As I write this, I'm thinking of a dear writing colleague and friend who recently lost her husband of 35 years to cancer. I'm thinking of one of my little flock who is the caregiver for her mother, who has suffered a series of strokes, each one leaving her more debilitated than the last one.
These times, like seasons, are not here to stay. They, too, will pass.
We can spend the season bemoaning our fate, questioning God, and making ourselves more miserable.
Or we can embrace it for what it is, remembering that if we have chosen to believe in a sovereign, loving God, we know whatever He allows in our lives has a purpose we may not understand or see this side of eternity.
Child of God, push on in faith, trust that all things WILL work out for your good (Romans 8:28), and remind yourself that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 31–39).
Only when we choose to embrace each season for what it is do we find the daffodils of hope and the snowdrops of joy sprinkled in the places only the SON can reach.
Thank you, God, that You are the One in control of the seasons of my life. Help me to embrace whatever season You send, knowing Your plan and purpose is for my ultimate good. Amen.
More tea: Read Ecclesiastes 3:1–8
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CURL UP AND READ:
How about a love story of an Army nurse and a Dustoff pilot who meet, fall in love, and get married while on their tour of duty during the Vietnam War, only to have him go MIA and show up 40 years later with amnesia? (The Heart Remembers)
Or the story of a 50-something woman with a lackluster marriage who wants to fall head over heels in love just one more time before she dies? (Before I Die)
Or the story of a retired couple who up and sell everything to travel the country in a fifth wheel? (Fifth Wheel series of short stories available for download)
Or maybe you'd prefer something inspirational for your devotional reading. (God, Me & a Cup of Tea for download and in print)