As I look out my office window, I see a snowdrift that is over three feet tall. In a 24-hour period recently, our region experienced snow, rain, ice and even “thundersnow.” It seems this winter has dished-out every conceivable scenario for bad weather. Whether record-breaking snowfall or extremely cold weather, we have been hammered! As a pastor of a local church, it seems the worst comes on Sunday (or Saturday night), but I am sure it is only my perspective. I often think about the warm winter of two years ago and reminisce about the “good old days.” I also contemplate how nice it would be if the global warming I have heard about throughout my life would finally take place. I know it would not be good for polar bears, but it would be good for me! At this point in time, I can only hope. It is hard to believe that spring could actually arrive in four weeks. Having lived in Michigan all my life, I know that anything is possible when it comes to the weather.
The Bible tells us, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV). The Scripture goes on to teach about those seasons. It says there is “a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” It also says there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” These are but a few of the seasons of life mentioned. As you study the list, similar to the four seasons we experience in Michigan, I am sure that you can say, “I like this season” or “I don’t like that season.” The problem is that every season will eventually come. Our attitude in each season can be to merely endure or we can choose to flourish no matter what comes our way. Either way, we must always understand that every season is temporary. When we understand this concept, we can be prepared for the seasons as they come. In doing so, we will receive the best that season has to offer. This perspective will also cause us to seek out the good that season has to offer, even when it might seem to offer nothing of benefit.
I have always disliked the winter. Growing up, people would say, “You need to find something you like to do in the winter.” I finally took up the advice and used it as a time to vacation in warm-weather destinations. Recently, I heard that winter seasons are good for killing off insects and make our summer season more enjoyable. Now I encourage myself by looking out the window, saying, “Die bugs, die.” However, no matter how hard I try, I am still just anticipating spring.
As a Christian, I have found that the best antidote for the seasons of life is to look for God’s purpose. After Solomon (the author of Ecclesiastes) teaches about the seasons, he mentions the “time for every purpose under heaven.” I have found that in every season of life, there is evidence of the Lord’s purpose if I am willing to look for it. It is not just a comfort to know that God’s Kingdom reigns over the affairs of mankind; I have also found that God has made each and every one of us for a specific purpose. When we take time to see and engage ourselves with His plan, we can find an inner compass steering us through the difficulties and giving us peace and strength to help us through. Do you know the Scripture declares that we are chosen and created with God’s purpose in mind? Ephesians 1:11-12 (NKJV) proclaims, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”
Let’s take a step today to embrace the season of our life and operate in the fullness of His purpose!