Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seasons Represent Faithfulness~

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. Genesis 8:22

It has turned cold in New Mexico--getting down to 26 degrees the last couple of nights. We had unseasonable warmth and now we're having unseasonable cold. But what that tells me is that we're heading into winter. In Meeting God in Quiet Places, F. LaGard Smith compares the changing of  the seasons with God's faithfulness. And not just in the seasons  we recognize, like Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall, but in the "seasons" of your day, your week and your year. Now we're up to Chapter 10, so let's see what there is to learn from this parable, remembering that it's all about making our lives better and more pleasing to God.

Seasons affect not only the world around us, but our bodies and minds as well. As we experience the change from hot to cold--signaled by trees and foliage, the air around us, and in the color of sky and clouds--it has an effect on us. LaGard says this is what it means:
"Seasons tell us much about God, including the very fact that God exists. It was the apostle Paul who reminded us that God 'has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons."

And it was the psalmist David who acknowledged God when he said,
It was you, who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
And again,
Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.

And Solomon was wise beyond measure and said it this way:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

We are aware of times when the seasons change...spring to summer, winter to spring, but are we aware of the changing seasons of our day, with its time to wake, time for activity, time for nourishment or excitement, and time for rest? It may help us to become more aware that each day, each week, each season, and even each lifetime has purpose and meaning. And it helps to see each feeling and each experience within those times as the right time--the right fit--for our lives, to trust that God is working in them for our good. 

And all the contrasts help us to see the very things of which our lives consist: if there is a time to plant, there is a time to uproot; if there's a time to kill, there's a time to heal. And these contrasts also  happen in the seasons of our lives: a time for laughter, and a time for crying; a time for embracing and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to keep and a time to let go of things that hold us back. Turning it around, you can ask the question: How do you know what to let go of until you know what to keep? To find balance, we must see the contrasts. 

The same thing is true with opposite seasons. We are wiser about winter because we've experienced summer. Such different seasons, but not completely unrelated. Joy is the opposite of sadness, but you recognize that joy is felt more deeply because you've known sadness. Isn't life more precious because death is waiting? And how golden is silence after too much speech? 

Take time to examine your life and find just those elements that balance it and make it good. Are you aware of its purpose? By looking at the changes and contrasts in your life, you can also begin to see the seasons of your day, your week, your year, and even your whole life in a clearer way, thus recognizing how God takes part in your life.

More on this tomorrow. I hope your Saturday is filled with fun and family. My word count on my novel is at 17, 100!


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