I was thinking today about the seasons — not the seasons of life, but the real seasons. Two weeks ago, we had hail landing on the deck, and wintry winds bringing a few snowflakes here and there, and even frozen ice on the puddles in the morning. It was much too cold to think about planting annuals, or about buying pots of flowers for the deck and patio. They would have, after all, frozen during the chilly nights!
Then came a few days of Spring. The weather warmed, the sun came out, and all the flowering trees burst into bloom. The redbud tree in my front yard turned pink almost overnight and stood there in all its beauty for nearly a week. The trees along the back fence all began leafing out again, and, of course, the turkeys returned to the backyard. The yellow daylilies have sprung up and will be blooming in another couple of weeks. However, maybe the most fun surprise of this Spring has been the emergence of hundreds of tulips and daffodils in my neighbor’s flower beds. I say surprise, but actually the blooms were expected, since they spent several days planting last Fall!
Now here we are in the first full week of May, with temperatures in the 90s all week long! At least we’re past the place of alternating between heat and air conditioning constantly! We’ll likely stay on the AC side of things until October now. Summer here in Nebraska can be hot for some very long stretches!
After a couple of hot months, the cooler breezes of Fall and the beauty of changing colors on the trees, and football season will return. Immediately on the heels of Fall will come Winter again with its ice and snow and blizzard winds. We never lack for variety in the Heartland when it comes to weather! And, of course, we’re always praying for both Spring and Fall rains in farming country. How do we know these things will certainly come?
As I considered all the changes that happen throughout the year, I began to realize that this brings a certain sense of stability and security to our lives. We count on the fact that the seasons will follow in a specific order. In fact, we count on it so much that we plan for it. We know when to plant flowers, when to treat the lawn, when to have the furnace and AC units serviced, when to make travel plans for the holidays.
Did you realize that God has made us a promise about the seasons?
In Genesis 8:22 we find the following: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Psalm 104:19 says: “He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.” Even when we change to Central Daylight Time, the sun knows when to set! Psalm 74:17 says, “You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.”
Just as the earth has seasons that God has permanently ordained, our lives also have seasons that do not surprise Him. We start as infants, grow to children, turn into dreaded teenagers, and life moves fairly predictably through parenting, careers, and grandparenting. Not every life pathway looks the same. Sometimes things get thrown off balance as a thunderstorm, or even a tornado invades our present season. Sometimes a tsunami rolls in and threatens to overwhelm us.
A stumbling block for many widows is embracing God’s sovereignty. Can I trust that the God who ordained the seasons to always follow one after the other has also ordained this season for me? Could it truly be His will for me to be a widow in this time and place? If His will was to call my husband home, does that mean His will is for me to be here? If I embrace His sovereignty and all He has put in place for me, surely I can trust Him.
One thing is certain: the seasons, both of the earth and of our lives, follow in their pre-determined order. This Winter in which you may live will certainly move into Spring, where new life will burst forth. The sun will shine in your heart again, and the flowers of joy will bloom again. How do I know this? Because God’s unfailing Word tells us this is true, and He calls us to walk into the new season with Him.
Song of Solomon 2:11-13
“For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.”
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