It is late September here in New York State.
Acorns are dropping from the trees, leaves are just hinting at changing colours, and coolness is filling the air. Summer is bidding its last farewell as Autumn steadily creeps in.
The crisp change of seasons.
I am sad to see summer go. All the cook-outs and gatherings, all the lemonade and lake side breezes…sigh. But it’s time for the change; it’s how God ordained it. No matter how hard I fight it, Summer is leaving and Autumn is returning. God’s ordinance continues on, regardless of what I want. And it is good, in spite of the loss of the warmth and sun.
If the seasons didn’t change from summer into winter the whole world would unravel: Birds wouldn’t be cued to migrate, plants wouldn’t receive their necessary time of dormancy required for optimum health, and certain animals wouldn’t be cued as to when they need to hibernate for their own optimum health. The changing seasons also cue various sea creatures to migrate to other waters, in effect giving seasonal fishing opportunities to provide employment and food in many places. Winter snow also creates glacial ice in the northern and southern regions, providing a source of freshwater and ground water, enabling communities to thrive. I could go on and on, but the point is the advance winter is actually a necessary part of a global system that thrives. Winter has a lot of value, in spite of its cold, bleak, sad appearance.
And there is a lesson to find in this: God foreknew the need for a dormant, bleak, time of year. He foreknew the effects of winter upon the earth and how it actually has huge benefits in spite of the discomforts it brings. And He doesn’t take away the discomfort primarily because of those very benefits that we experience.
In the changing “seasons” of our lives, we also experiences “summers” (weddings, births, graduations, achievements, etc.) as well as “winters” (accidents, failures, mistakes, etc.). Although our “winters” are very uncomfortable, God sees that they are still important for our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Our faith cannot be tried, our trust in Him cannot be strengthened, and our victories over evil cannot happen if we never experience the “winters”.
Thus, even in the most trying of circumstances, God doesn’t take away all the discomfort. We need our “winters” if we’re ever to be a strong soldier in His Kingdom. However, it is equally important to remember that, although He allows the “winter”, He does not abandon us. He is our warm, cozy cabin with a crackling fireplace in the midst of that terrible winter season.
When “winter” happens to you, walk up to His cabin and ask for His warmth. Although He may not take away your winter season, He will still be your quiet refuge from the biting winds and the nipping frost. Just as He won’t lock you outside in the frozen blizzard where you may be tempted to succumb to the cold, likewise He will not let you endure more than you can bear in your life’s winter seasons (1 Corinthians 10:13).
May His peace continue with you.