Growing in Faith
What if our favorite season lasted year round? What if there was only one season? God knew what He was doing when He created the different seasons. The earth needs each of them and we need the different seasons He brings into our lives too! Some are pleasant and some not so pleasant, but we need to embrace every season God puts us in.
Just like nature has four different seasons, our lives seem to have different spiritual seasons too.
There are those seasons, like Spring, when everything seems to be new and blooming! Spiritually, this may be when we first come to know Christ as our Savior! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
Reading God's Word, fellowshipping with other believers, praying & spending time with God everyday is new and fresh! We feel new and fresh. Jesus has not only come into our lives and changed us, He has exchanged His life for ours!
Seasons come more than once though, and so during our spiritual life we get to enjoy several "Springs" along the way as God brings new growth as we dwell in His garden.
Spring is certainly a time of beauty and new growth! However, showers still come in nature as well as life. God uses them to help us grow in Him and although He does not promise us a trial or rain-free life, He does promise to be with us in the storms!
Then there are seasons, like Summer when life seems warm and relaxed. A spiritual level of maturity or plateau has been reached for a time. And although our spiritual lives may seem somewhat stable, there may come extremely hot periods of spiritual challenges as well as summer afternoon thunderstorms and even hurricanes.
Both heat and storms can bring strength though. Our faith and trust in God can be refined in the hot and stormy times in our lives. Just as in the storms or fires of life, God promises to be with us too! God may use these times of turbulent weather or spiritual tribulation not only to strengthen us, but they also make us appreciate the calm weather that much more!
Just like in fall the trees shed their leaves and they fall to the ground, we also may experience the “falling away” of things in our lives like children leaving home, moving to a new place and leaving friends behind, etc. Yet we must remember that it is all in preparation for new things God is bringing!
There may be things that bring relief when they fall away such as bad habits or the chains of materialism or addictions, but there may be other life circumstances that we don't understand such as the loss of a job, the loss of good health, or the loss of a relationship.
Spiritual seasons of fall may cause us to doubt God. When we experience a season of coolness and falling away, God will always be consistently faithful.
Winter seems to be a time when the earth seems to take a break and rest. Nothing is growing and all seems still. Although these times may appear dreary and confine us, even these times are needed for the new growth coming in spring again.
God knew not only the earth needs intervals of rest, but we as His children also need times of rest.
So no matter which of the spiritual seasons it feels like we are in, there is good taking place because of God’s work in and through us. On those sunny, warm pleasant days get recharged and refreshed and rested....And on those dreary, overcast days, it is important we remember that even though we can’t see the sun (Son) it (He) is there! We can't stay stuck in those hard seasons, we have to grab our "raincoat", "umbrella", "gloves & scarves" and press though, knowing that no season lasts forever.
When we find ourselves complaining about the seasons or daily weather we are in, let it remind us to look for the blessings and be thankful. Let it remind us that God is at work in every season…especially in the seasons of our lives! He is faithful through every season.
Spring brings new beauty along with its showers;
Summer brings warmth & sunshine along with its heat and thunderstorms;
Fall brings coolness and colors along with its “falling away”;
Winter brings rest and peace along with its cold which may confine us.