Changing Seasons

A few days ago it was almost 90 degrees.  Today it was 47.  Welcome to Illinois – if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few days, it’ll change 🙂  Things like that happen every time the seasons transition from one to the next – very rarely is there a smooth transition without any forced “reminiscing” of the previous season.  In between winter and spring you have bouts of snow.  Spring to summer brings cold, gray, drizzly days.  Summer to fall brings scorching, humid times, and fall to winter brings the occasional reprieve from the frigid assault.  In other words, just because a new season is upon us, that doesn’t mean that we’re free from the experiences of the previous one.

Life is like that as well.  Scripture reminds us that there is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).  Scripture doesn’t, however, say that there is always a clean delineation between those seasons.  Even when it is the season to laugh, tears can still be shed.  Even though we dance, sometimes memories will cause us to relive grief.  But when we are in those transitions between seasons, we can rejoice.  The memories of days gone by can serve as both a mentor as well as an opportunity.  If the memories are bitter, we can be thankful for God’s provision in the midst of difficult times and that He has brought us to better days.  If the memories are sweet, we can reminisce and be thankful for how He blessed us then, and look forward to what He will do in the future.

No matter what, if we so choose, we are able to look at where we are in life, and frame our experiences, whether good or bad, with the reminder that God does truly love us, and that He works out all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28.)

As I was writing this evening, there was something I noticed about the specifics of the verbiage of that verse.  “…for the good of those who love Him.”  Not necessarily just us.  There are (many) things that happen in our lives that are beyond our understanding.  While God is fully capable of stopping things from happening (or causing them to happen,) He doesn’t always choose to do so, which can be really difficult for us.  However, even when we can’t understand why He decided to do so, we can trust His heart.  The things that happen in our lives give us the unique opportunity to reach into the lives of others who have gone through, or are going through, similar circumstances – to be able to empathize and encourage them, to remind them of God’s love and care.  That doesn’t mean that it will necessarily make something easier to go through.  But it does mean that He is able to bring beauty from the pain.  It does mean that He is able to redeem what has happened and turn it into something positive and praiseworthy.

So, as you walk through the changing seasons of life, know that there will be times of transition.  And in those transitions, whether they are good or bad, easy or difficult, there will be times when we remember the things of the past.  And in those memories, whether bitter or sweet, we can praise the One who holds our lives – past, present, and future – in His loving Hands.