God often speaks to me in themes. I’d like to think this is God’s way of flashing a big marquee sign to make sure He hits His point home.
Something that’s continued to come up for me is spiritual seasons.
Genesis 8:22 tells us of the seasons of this Earth, how God promises that nature will continue to change. Similar to the Earth’s seasons, we also go through spiritual seasons (Acts 1:7, Daniel 2:21) that grow and change us.
Spiritual Spring is fresh, vibrant, and new. Spring casts out the darkness from Winter and reminds us of the new life we’ve been given. It’s a time where the plans from Winter are planted, watered, and start to bud.
Summer is a balance of work and play. It’s a time to refresh, and for enjoying the fruits that that are now fully coming forth. It’s also a time to take inventory and tend to the weeds.
Fall or Autumn is a time for harvest, to reap what’s been sowed in the previous seasons. It’s also a season of change, where the old things are falling away and room is being made.
Winter is a time of rest. It’s a slower time that is often darker, can be uncomfortable and there’s little fruit. On the outside it looks like things are calm and slow and on the inside deep roots are taking hold.
We have been in a long spiritual season of Winter.
This year has been a slow pruning of our hearts and lives as a family as well as a heavy collective rest. Not the lazy sit around kind of rest but the deep spiritual conservation of energy that’s equipping us to weather the conditions of Winter.
Resting isn’t my natural state. I enjoy doing and I find a lot of joy and purpose in having my hands in the things I believe in (warning sign). All of which came to a screeching halt this year when I didn’t have a drop left to give. I didn’t have any other choice but to rest (flashing marquee).
My knees finally buckeld. I broke.
I rested and prayed.
I shed everything from my life that was demanding more than I could give or wasn’t directly related to my spiritual life and family. I spent so much time in the word. Yes it was (is) dark. It was also quiet and slow.
But in the darkness I was only able to see by His light.
In the quiet I was able to experience God drawing my attention to things I would have missed in any other season.
In the slow, both the days but also this long season that seemed to linger, I was reminded that my perception of time is not the same as the Lord’s.
2 Peter 3:8-9 tells us
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.”
Once I identified that I was in Winter, I saw that I was being disobedient by trying to push through and operate like I was in any other season. (2 Peter 3:14)
My heart was ready for the newness of Spring, for big vibrant blossoms, but that’s not what the Lord had for me and I had to stop and smell the pine right here in the middle of Winter.
I had to recognize the beauty of this season.
What I found is Winter is so much more than dark and cold. It’s rich, it’s potent, but also has an opposing subtlety that you’ll miss if you’re not looking for it.
Like the soft fallen snow on a towering evergreen, there is beauty in Winter that’s only available in this season.
There may be little choices for fruit but the fruit available is rich.
The comfort and warmth we receive drawing nearer to Christ that shields us from the cold harsh conditions, the introspective inventory we take that informs our plans for future outward harvests are all part of the contrasting beauty of Winter.
In this long season, I had to learn how to identify and acknowledge both the identity and beauty of each spiritual season for what they bring, just as the Lord calls us to. (Ephesians 5:15)
He’s taken this time to realign my heart to His, for Him and His glory to be my only true joy. He’s re-rooted my purpose in Him alone and not in my works, and that was only possible in the quiet stillness of Winter.
Even in the middle of celebrating Winter for what it is, I also know that Spring is coming.
That there’s a promise of enjoying the fruits of labor (Psalm 123:2) and that it’s going to be the sweetest most bountiful Spring we’ve seen because of how hard we’ve leaned in.
Friend, can I encourage you that whatever season you’re in, God has a purpose for you there?
That He’s working in ways we may not see and don’t understand (Isaiah 55:8-9, Ecclesiastes11:5) but He is working, even in the dead of Winter.
If we can lean in, identify what season we are in, and allow ourselves to see the beauty there, it frees us from coveting other seasons and helps us to live in purpose right where we are.
It allows us to walk each day in love (Ephesians 5:2) and make the best use of time that we have here.
Whatever season you’re in sis, we can find comfort knowing that seasons will continually change but our God always remains the same (Hebrews 13:8) and He promises that He’s always, always working for our good (Romans 8:28).
What spiritual season are you in?
Where is God whispering to you about your purpose in this season?