Understanding Seasons & Times
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
Time can be looked at from both a long-term (days, years, decades, etc.) and a short-term view (seconds, minutes, hours, etc.). It can also be broken down into seasons. And seasons can be broken down into times.
Think about how time is broken into the 4 seasons (as in weather seasons):
Often we think of perfect “in between” weather. Springtime is what I call one of the “transitional seasons,” along with Fall/Autumn. Many noticeable changes are happening; flowers and trees are blooming, insects and other bugs come out in swarms, smells are different, and the colors of nature pop out brightly. Springtime also bring about the ‘rain season” when some of the worst thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and high winds happen! But we cannot help but remember that these same rains are necessary for the growth of the beautifully sweet flowers that bloom during this time of year. These rains are the key ingredient to unlocking the beauty of Springtime.
Ask yourself, better yet, ASK GOD, although I’m in my Spring season, what time is it in my life? Am I in my “rain season” when I have to endure the tossing storms of life that are necessary for my spiritual and natural growth? Or is it my time to enjoy all of the beauty and serenity of my Spring season?
When I thought of summertime, one of the first things that came to mind was that this is a season that warrants a change in the clothing that we wear. This is a season where we much shed or “take off” things (in this case, layers of clothing). We no longer need that light sweater or long sleeve blouse that may have been necessary during the cooler days of Spring. Summer is also a time when we experience the extreme changes in outside temperatures. It’s a time of heat, and oftentimes, EXTREME heat!
When we consider our “summer life season,” we must consider that this could be a time when GOD is allowing the heat to be turned up on us. This may be a time for some of you when things have started to “go from bad to worse,” as we often hear others say. Or maybe we’ve used those words ourselves. If could be a time when we are experiencing what we feel are the greatest trials of our lives. On the other hand, it may be a time when God is allowing us to bask in the rays of His “Sunshine.” This is a time when we are experiencing the warmth of God’s overwhelming favor! Either way, we know that the heat we are experiencing is making us, and that we are promised that we’ll come out as pure gold!
Like in Spring, Fall/Autumn is a season where many noticeable changes happen around us. The colors of nature are visibly changing. Once bright, vibrant colors are transitioning to the earthy browns, oranges, and reds that the season change brings. Also like in Spring, with this new season comes the crisper feels and smells of the air, and the flowers and trees are no longer boasting fresh blooms. They’re replaced with crisp leaves and the sights of more branches and twigs. And as mentioned above, I call Fall the second “transitional season.”
If we liken our lives to the Fall/Autumn season, we can consider that we could be coming out of a “fiery furnace” season, into the coolness of our lives. We could be experiencing a sense of relief from some of the tests we are in. On the other hand, we could be transitioning into a colder season where our once booming lives are taking on a slower pace. We could be experiencing a change in the livelihood of some relationships. We may be beginning to lose friendships that once kept us full of life. We could be feeling like our lives are dying slowly. In either case, we must ASK GOD, are we “coming out of “or are we “going into” a new season???
Winter, like the summer, is another season when we experience extreme temperature changes that warrant a clothing change. It is a season when we must “put on” more layer in order to endure the cold temperatures. It’s also a season when temperatures can get so extreme that we experience moderate to heavy snow storms. We must endure icy precipitation and even road closures if conditions are bad enough.
If we’d apply these seasonal ideals to our lives, we might ASK GOD, are we in a time of isolation or are we in a time of “hibernation” or rest? If we are in a time of isolation, we may be at a point in our lives where it seems everyone we depended on has abandoned us. We could be feeling like the support system we once had has dissolved. We may even be feeling like God has abandoned us. You may feel that you are crying out to God but aren’t hearing, feeling, or seeing any response at all. It’s almost like the heavens have been shut on you. On the contrary, you may be experiencing a time where God has pulled you away from those things and people that are weighing you down. Some you may not even realize are bogging you down. But God may have pulled you away to Himself and is using this time to pour strength and peace back into you, without letting anything or anyone else pull from you. You could liken this place to the “secret place of the Most High” the Bible speaks of where God allows us to “abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Either way, we must seek God to understand what time it is for us!
“11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:”
MAIN POINT: We must seek God to understand, not only what season we’re in (we need to be properly “dressed”), but also to understand what time it is for us!
DON’T FEAR CHANGE!
That’s often the case when we are transitioning into new seasons. And it makes the move a more trying, confusing experience than it needs to be. Typically, it’s not rebellion that keeps us from transitioning to the new place God wants to take us. It’s often just ignorance, immaturity, or fear of change. But failing to move in God’s timing can bring unwanted consequences, such as strained relationships, financial loss, and stress. We need to discern the times and seasons we’re in and move with the Holy Spirit! After all, God promised us in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that He has made everything beautiful in His time! Please note that the verse does NOT say that He WILL make everything beautiful, but rather it says, HE HATH MADE everything beautiful! So that tells us, whatever we are in, IT’S ALREADY BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!