“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
Summer slipped away quietly as the first leaves of autumn speckled the landscape with lovely hues of yellow and orange, announcing the arrival (albeit late) of fall.
There’s something about the changing seasons that makes one stop and reflect on seasons in our own lives. They seem to come in a variety of different packages; some we like and some we’d rather skip all together. God may bring seasons into our plans that don’t always fit in our parameters, but it is important to remember that the Lord orchestrates the different events of our lives for different purposes. His hand is all over the details!
A dear older woman once asked me which age I would choose if I could be any age and I blurted out, “35!” before I could even help myself. At 35, I saw a husband, babies, and a life all put together. I mean, that’s what every girl wants, right? I’m in my 20s and find them to be a bit confusing some days. I asked this woman what age she would choose. She smiled and said, “Exactly where I am. If I were to go back in time, I wouldn’t be in the place I am with the Lord right now. If I were to go forward, I would miss out on what the Lord has yet to teach me.”
This conversation reminded me not just to enjoy my seasons, but also God’s purpose for them. They’re not just incessant events in our human existence, but rather a catalyst for the work started in us by our Heavenly Father. I think of a fruit tree. It doesn’t bear crop in the first year of its planting. The tree must withstand many seasons in preparation for the harvest it will yield. Psalm 1 compares the person who delights in the law of the Lord to a tree who brings forth fruit in its season. It is wonderful to know that our seasons, regardless of the degree of discomfort they may cause at times, are there to instruct and shape us into the women God wants us to be.
Sometimes we feel like our lives are a whirlwind of seasons (and sometimes they happen all in one day)! Some of them move quickly and some take a little bit longer, but what is key is remembering the God who sees everything that comes into your life.
Perhaps your season is one of joy, where life’s moments can’t seem to get any better. Perhaps you’re in a season of adversity and sorrow, where the unimaginable becomes reality and the burdens of life seem too much to bear. It is in these seasons that God is teaching us to breathe in a little slower, love a little deeper, and trust a little more.
I can recall countless times in my own life when I’ve cried out to God, saying, “I just don’t see it! I’m going to be in this forever.” Joy was certainly not an emotion I was feeling at the time, but the Lord’s loving hand still held me, reminding me that He didn’t make me to see it all or know it all but to trust through it all. The Lord may also have you in a place where He’s teaching you to walk by faith and not by sight.
That’s the beauty of Christ; He’s always there, offering a hand in our every need. He’s there with us through the turns, taking every single step we take. He guides and provides through the uncertain fall, the hard winters of life, the hope of spring, and the joys of summer.
I was able to spend a long weekend at the beach recently with two girlfriends for a final farewell-to-summer getaway. We drank too much coffee, ate too much dessert, and really had the time of our lives as we marveled at how the Lord has used us and is continuing to open doors of ministry in our singleness. Priorities of marriage and motherhood will one day turn weekends like these into treasured memories, but we so enjoyed that time together.
Looking back, I can’t help but wonder about the special blessings I missed because I was too consumed with the next season coming.
We all have things in our lives we are waiting for, hoping for—circumstances we’d like to change. He is the one who makes all things beautiful in His time, but oh, to see God in it all…to see Him in the now.
God knows where you are today and He knows where you will be tomorrow. This fall, would you revel in the Father’s love for you? Grab a scarf and a pumpkin spice latte and enjoy what the Lord has for you right now, in this season.