‘A year in the New Forest’, was a recent series of television programmes which followed the animals and people who live in the New Forest, through the four seasons of a year. The seasons couldn’t be predicted. Freak, and out of season, weather has had a devastating effect on life in the forest this year, resulting in the survival of the fittest, and hard work and disappointment for the people who’ve made their home in the Forest.
God created the natural seasons. He’s also ordained the seasons of our lives, which can sometimes be quite unpredictable and take unexpected turns. However, He’s the God of all seasons, and He plans how each season should be. He decides when one season will end, and another will begin, and He determines its purpose. We can’t see the whole scope of God’s work, and we’re not meant to understand all His ways. We’re meant to surrender to Him and trust Him, even when we can’t see the way ahead. To surrender means to let go of our own ideas and plans, to stop fighting and allow our faithful God to be in control. This indeed is peace.
As in nature, one season is making way for the next, and so it is in our lives. In retrospect, we can often see how the hard times in a previous season have prepared us for the next. God desires to be constantly changing us into the likeness of Jesus and to show us more of His steadfast, immovable and unchanging character, as well as testing our heart’s attitudes and reactions, and how we will respond to Him.
God has planned the seasons of our lives in His infinite wisdom. You may be in a very fruitful season where God is using you for His kingdom purposes and giving you a larger vision of the power of the Holy Spirit, as you allow Him to have His way in you and through you. Alternatively, you may be in a difficult season, seemingly less productive and hard going. However, seasons change, and you may need to presently grasp the promise of the One who’s promised to make everything beautiful in His time. He also promises to be an anchor for our souls, firm and secure in the storms of life (Hebrews 6:19).
Maybe you’re not in either of these seasons. You may be in between seasons – in a space between the two. The tendency could be to fill the space, but it’s there for a purpose – to draw close to Jesus, learn more of Him and grow to love Him more intimately. When you can see the space between two seasons as a gift - a time between what was and what’s yet to be, you grow in faith and trust. This space can be a place to let go of what was and let God prepare you, before He leads you into the new season that lies ahead.
Out text says that God has put eternity in the hearts of men, which is a wonderful reminder that we were born to be with Him for ever at the end of our final season here.
‘How good is the God we adore, our faithful, unchangeable Friend; His love is as great as His power and knows neither measure nor end. ’Tis Jesus the first and the last, whose Spirit shall guide us safe home. We’ll praise Him for all that is past and trust Him for all that’s to come’. (Joseph Hart)
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your unchanging nature and character. Thank You that You’re compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness. Please show me the attitudes and reactions in my heart that don’t honour You. By the power of the blood of Jesus, I ask You to reshape me, so my life in this present season will produce abundant fruit for You through the power of the Holy Spirit living in me. Amen.
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