Features

Four Every Season There Is Beauty

December 24th, 2016 / Stephane

By Dorcas Payne

No matter what part of the world you are in, nature will indicate whenever it is transitioning into a new season. And albeit the welcoming of something new it is a season we are familiar with so we generally know what to expect. Summer brings with it ice cream and park picnics which is in contrast to what Winter ushers in – hot chocolates and early nights in front of a fire, cuddled under a thick blanket. We all have times of the year that seem to be our favourite and await the joy that comes with seeing the first signs of our preferred season, whether it is the appearance of the initial crisp brown leave on the tree or the blossoming bud that forces its way into sight. But one thing is for sure the season will come and the season will also go. We can’t stop the change but we can make sure we use the time as best as possible.

Just like nature goes through its cyclical journey through seasons, we also go through our own spiritual seasons. And like the tribe of Issachar we are called to understand and discern the times and seasons (1 Chronicles 12:32). There is so much God wants to show us about ourselves and this ever evolving world which is why it has never been so important to be sensitive to what the Creator is saying to us in particular times and seasons because to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Winter

Winter is a season that usually brings with it a drastic drop in temperature as well as longer nights followed by shorter days. We dig out our thick coats and woolly hats and gloves and we begin to see nature recoil and go into hibernation – any farmer will tell you that winter is not the time to plant or even gather but to begin planning for the next season. This is the same for those who are going through a spiritual winter – it is a time for evaluation, planning and preparation. This is especially difficult, as many can testify that winters are challenging seasons as it sometimes brings with it a sense of darkness and stillness, almost as though God has gone silent on us. We can feel deflated and may even feel like we are going through a wilderness experience. Just like the winter nights cause us to draw for the heavy blanket and curl up in front of the heater, the spiritual winter is also a time to curl up on the Father’s lap for that warmth and intimacy we crave and remain in that rest that’s readily available. Even in the cold silences God does not leave you. He has equipped you with so many tools and weapons in seasons gone and now is the time to dig them up. Shovel any snow blocking your mind’s driveway and fix any cracks that may let the cold and doubt in. As you put pen to paper in this season, reflect on the goodness of God and plan for upcoming seasons whilst you receive the directions needed for planting the new spring crops. Ps: Remember to keep a posture of praise to keep your heart warm; it will bring health to your bones and joy to your spirit.

Spring

Fundamentally Spring is a transitional season between Winter and Summer and welcomes in new leaves and flowers. In Songs of Songs springtime is often used as a metaphor to avidly describe the new romantic encounters between the lady and her lover (Songs 2:11-14; 7:11-13). And the Bible also mentions that the spring was a time when the kings went off to war. After strengthening your spirit in the winter seasons the time will now come to put thought into action and plant the seeds and carry out the instructions you were given from the season past. You have written the vision and made it plain, so now it is time to get ready to run with it. Similar to the shoots of plants that begin to fight its way through the ground with the help of the April showers, so will your spiritual spring bring forth the re-emergence of new life, horizons and opportunities.  Any mother will tell you that birthing pangs are not enjoyable, but they are an indication that something beautiful is on its way. Ps: As you experience new opportunities and ventures be sure to check in with God daily to ensure you do not get lost in the euphoria of something new but are aligning everything to God’s timing and purpose. And remember some blossoms are temporary and are never intended to bear fruit but just to help with the pollination process so don’t hold on too tightly to such shoots.

Summer

The spike in temperature is an indication that Summer is upon us. We experience longer days and hang our coats up and dust off our sandals and shorts. Spiritual summers are an interesting oxymoron with a combination of work and play as well as growth and stillness. Some sporting activities are in full swing and people often use this time to go on holiday and encounter new experiences. It is also a time to water and tend to anything that was planted in Spring as the soil will need to be cultivated. In summer the flowers and fruit are in full bloom and it is time to consider the different fruits that will spring forth. Do they align with the fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22). Ps: It is important to strike balance in this season as too much rest or too much work could be detrimental. Be intentional of where you put your new bursts of energy. Remember you can only reap what you have sown.

Autumn

Autumn (or Fall as some may know it as) marks the transition from Summer into Winter. Nature matures and becomes a beautiful blanket of browns, reds and oranges in preparation for winter. The farmer will also tell you that this is the time for harvest. Our spiritual Autumns of life help us to gage and see the passage of time and bring to manifestation all the activity and investment of past seasons – whether it be planning, sowing or cultivating. The season is filled with anticipation as we go out to harvest and bring back to the storehouse, the harvest awaits you so make sure you go out with your plough to bring it in as the Autumn season still requires work in this last stretch. It is very important we store these stories of encouragement as we will need it for seasons to come. Albeit Autumn having its limitations, it is a time for abundance, thanksgiving and celebration. We witness the beautiful expression of God’s promises and the splendour that lies in change and growth. Just like it marks the beginning of a new school term it also indicates our transition into new spiritual terrain so enjoy and embrace the season but remember to prepare for the winter that is about to be upon us. Ps: Preparation requires discipline so inject some healthy order into your routine and be an honourable steward of what you have been blessed with and been gathered into your storehouse.

In every season there is a beauty to be found, but it is up to us to look for it; and in every season there is something to be learnt and it is our duty to search out these lessons. Stay expectant in each season as you never know where or how God will perform His miracle this time round. The most important thing to remember is that God and His love is not restricted by times or seasons and come rain or shine you can be sure that He is always close by.

Love . Live Life . Proceed . Progress

 

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