Living in the North West of Scotland seasons are, very often, indiscernible. It is sometimes difficult to know where the long Winter ends and Spring begins – or if there will ever be a Summer! As in the natural so in the spiritual – at least for me. Of course there are times when one season clearly ends and another begins – but more often than not I struggle to discern the seasons of life and the seasons of the soul – especially when an old season has lasted for a long time. Indeed perhaps we thought it would never end – so when the flowers begin to fade and the cold wind blows it takes some time to perceive the reality of change. I am living there at this moment – struggling to come to terms with the passing of an old season – longing for the breaking dawn of a new day. And it is here – in the “in between” that we experience confusion, uncertainty and misunderstanding.
Seasons of course, in agrarian societies, such as those in biblical times, are centred around crop production – ploughing, sowing, watering, tending and ultimately – the harvest. God clearly reminded his ancient people that the abundance of the natural harvest is inextricably linked to the spiritual –
“If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.”
Deuteronomy 11:13-15 (NLT)*
The key to navigating the uncertain seasons of life is, I am reminded once again, to be rooted in the love of God and love for God. The promise is, if we we are anchored there –
“He will send the rains in their proper seasons —the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil.”
Among the many fears, I think one of the the biggest in a changing season, is the fear of emptiness, barrenness – the fear that the harvest will never materialise. But the wise Sage writing in Ecclesiastes remains us that –
“Everything Has Its Time
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.”
The truth is there are cold seasons, dark seasons, painful seasons, seasons of adversity, seasons of uncertainty, emptiness and grief. But it is, so often, in these seasons that our true character is formed. However, there are also season of singing, seasons of joy, seasons of renewal, seasons of fresh empowerment and direction.
So if you are living in a season of change today, and I know many people besides myself are, may we have the grace to continue always living in Love. And in the ever changing seasons of life may we remain true to God and true to ourselves. May we always be faithful and free from animosity and anxiety. May we be enabled for forgive freely, love unconditionally and rest in the love and purpose of God – even when the days may look dark and uncertain. And may we uphold one another in prayer and with compassion.
*”For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9-11 [NKJV]