Changing Seasons

   Wow, what a summer it has been! Every year I tell my husband, this summer I am going to take it easy and relax and do lots of fun things, and every year something happens and my summer becomes jam packed. This summer was no different. Last school year was a very challenging year for me because I undertook the huge task of creating a history curriculum for my class. The school year hadn’t even finished when I began planning a big anniversary trip for us. I finished teaching five days before we left for two and a half weeks. Then we were back for one week before a close friend got married. Three weeks later was an unexpected trip to Florida for some training, and then four weeks later, my youngest sister got married. It was a great summer but I was so glad to see September coming.

 Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of people mention that they are very much looking forward to fall. I think it’s the cozy sweaters and smells of pumpkin spice and leaves, along with the cooler temperatures that makes autumn so wonderful. But you know what? After that comes winter. Brrrrrr… I’m sure there are a lot of great things about winter (besides Christmas and my birthday) but I’m usually too cold to think of them. Finally, spring will come again. Slowly things will turn green and start to grow. And then the cycle will continue. 
    We read in Ecclesiastes 3:1 which says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” I’m so glad God is the one who assigned the seasons their time limit and causes one to constantly follow the other. 
   When I look back on my relatively short life, I see other seasons so clearly: The years I spent at home with my family; the season of courting, engagement, and marriage; even this last year spent working almost constantly. 
Some of the seasons have been wonderful, and others have been extremely challenging: having JP’s mom pass away shortly after we married; having his two young sisters living with us; struggles with depression and times where I felt completely overwhelmed by what I perceived was expected of me. 
   But two things that all of these seasons had in common was this: they were for a limited time. One, they didn’t last forever, and two, God was there through every one of them, leading me even when I couldn’t feel His presence. 
Somehow remembering that winter follows fall, which follows summer, which follows spring, which follows winter is often so much easier than remembering God’s rich and wonderful promises which can sustain me when I am going through these other kinds of seasons. 
   His promise to keep me safe when I feel overwhelmed. “from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (Psalms 61:2-3)
   His promise to hear my prayers for help. “The waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’” (Lamentations 3:54-57)

   His promise that He will send comfort. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies andGod of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
 These, along with so many others are what God has given to help us through each season, no matter what they may contain. So, while the season you are in may not be what you would choose for yourself, reach out and embrace any beauty you can find in this time. Talk to others and very often another viewpoint will help you see the blessings, even if you can’t see any on your own. (Winter, anyone?) And above all, remember, it is a season, ordained by God, and chosen for you, His precious child. 

Sherry Peters
Beacon Bible Chapel

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