For the past few Sundays at my church, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 has been printed in the bulletin. In case you aren’t familiar, this is the verse that says “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…” And then goes on to list all of the things. Check it out, it’s awesome (because it’s the word of God, duh). I’ve been really convicted by this passage of scripture lately because it speaks a lot into what I believe God is trying to teach me right now about seasons of life.
I saw a quote once on a friend’s dorm room wall that said, “The bad news- nothing lasts forever. The good news- nothing lasts forever.” And I thought “Pssshhh, that’s depressing.” And moved on. But as I was reading Ecclesiastes again, I thought of that quote. And I realized how much it has to say about seasons of life.It’s both encouraging and intimidating.
We experience seasons in our lives where we feel like we’re finally breaking through. We’ve gotten into the school of our dreams, we’re pursuing the career or our calling, we’ve got the best of friends and family by our sides… We realize the school has a lot more challenges than we anticipated (or wanted), we question our calling, we lose friends, significant others, disappoint our family members…
People would say that these are just the ups and downs of life. I can’t say that they are wrong. But Jefferson Bethke mentioned in a podcast that I listened to recently that we like to look at life as a linear thing when really it is more cyclic (he’s still very much in the Christian worldview here people, calm down). He said that the history of the stories in the Bible lead us in a spiral instead of a line. I think that’s true- though I may be doing a poor job of articulating it.
God puts us in certain seasons, when we aren’t anticipating them and when we don’t want to be in them because He is helping us grow. Sometimes growing hurts, sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes we go through seasons where we serve others in their growth as well. I think it’s important to remember that though this season may seem endless- there is an end, “there is a time for everything under heaven.” These seasons are things that we are going to experience throughout our lives. They’re going to pop up again- hence the spiral instead of a line. Once you move on from a season of ‘wait’ don’t expect to never have to wait on God again. Once you move on from a season of overflowing grace and happiness, don’t expect to never feel that way again. Once you move on from a season of feeling like you can’t feel God, don’t expect that He will always feel close.
Right now I’m going through a season that isn’t easy. I have to remind myself of my need for growth and dependence on God every day. I have to spend time in His word every day, meditating on His promises and reminding myself of the changing seasons of life. But I am so encouraged by the seasons of life that I am able to look forward to what great things God has planned for me. I know that I am being prepared every day for them and that in and of itself is a source of joy.
If you have any advice/encouragement about the different seasons of life, please comment and share it with me. I’d love to know what you think! 🙂