Spiritual Lessons from the Changing Seasons

 

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As we draw towards the end of August it is a good time to reflect on the way in which our lives echo the seasons.

It’s autumn in Ireland and as some of us desperately try to suck in the last sweet bits of summer, the days keep getting shorter and the chill in the air is undeniable.

We often do this with the seasons of our lives too, clinging to things that have long since seized to serve us.

Yet each season has its own beauty and brings its own gifts.

As the temperatures drop, let us take the opportunity to appreciate the unique beauty of these autumn days. Nature offers us so much, from the brightly coloured leaves to the hardy plants that continue to bloom. Changes in colours, changes in temperature, changes in light; autumn is such an obvious season of change.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.

…Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

 

There are lessons to be learned from the changing seasons…

Seasons can change suddenly. - Just like a sudden cold spell can signal the end of summer, or an unexpected snow flurry rushes the winter in, the seasons of our lives can change just as abruptly. Unexpected circumstances can launch us into a new season of life: the unexpected death of a loved one, the welcoming of a new baby into the family, a medical diagnosis or an injury. Some seasons are filled with joy and happiness while others bring grief and heartache.

No matter what the season, God can give us complete comfort if we open ourselves to Grace. God is with us. God sees our hearts, hears our pleas. God has not left us.

 

Each season brings with it a unique set of joys and challenges. –  In nature we can appreciate the powerful nature of a storm as it lights up the sky, despite the devastation it brings; or marvel at the beauty of a drought-ravaged landscape.

The same is true in our lives. Grief and trauma can provide an opportunity to see God’s hand of provision like never before. It is an opportunity to offer up our pain, knowing that there is nothing to do but surrender ourselves to the Lord.

We often experience the greatest spiritual growth through the trials of our lives.

As we seek to know God, through joyful seasons or through sorrowful seasons, faithfully following the path, we find ourselves open to grace and mercy.

 

Seasons have a beginning and an ending - Seasons do not last indefinitely, they give in to one another, sometimes abruptly, sometimes with grace.

We don’t know what the end of a season will look like or what form it will take, but we can be assured, through our faith, that God is preparing the way and that the season will offer its own beauty and its own joy, and it will give way to the next one. Even if it is dark and cold.

 

Whether we are entering or leaving a season of joy or of sorrow, may we embrace each one, seeking God in ways we never have before. May we acknowledge the answered prayers and daily provisions, seeing God’s hand in every moment. May we seek to be obedient to the will of God, knowing that each season serves its purpose, allowing unexpected blessings to blossom and grow in our lives.

 

14 August 2019
Michelle Robertson
OLA Communications Officer