By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
Navigating through the Seasons of Life
By Lynette Kittle
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease”—Genesis 8:22
Growing up, Fall used to be my favorite season of the year. I love the warm colors of the changing leaves; the autumn smells in the air, and the cooler, milder warm temperatures. But over the years, we’ve lived in a variety of climates, from tropical Hawaii to tundra-filled Alaska, where seasons seem quite different. Adapting to different seasons can be challenging when it’s not what we expect it to be, just like in life where what occurs in times of our lives may seem very different from what we were expecting.
The following are four ways to open our hearts to look positively toward seasons that haven’t brought us what we were hoping.
1. Remember God’s Goodness
Like the seedtime of Spring and the harvest of Fall each year, God’s goodness is evident in the new life He gives and produces in us year after year. It’s good to take time to remember how He has cared for us through the years, providing for us and more than meeting our needs.
2. Look Past the Devastation
Sometimes our seasons are impacted in ways we weren’t expecting or wanted to experience. In the Summer of 2013, we lived in Colorado and experienced major wildfires in our area, so close they were just outside our neighborhood. Needless to say, our summer enjoyment was darkened by smoke ash-filled skies, along with fire debris and carnage, looking more like Armageddon than Colorado.
Still, even during unexpected dry, fiery times, God reminds us in Isaiah 58:11 that He will satisfy our souls, promising, “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
3. See the Beauty In Change
When God brings changes in our lives, there is beauty that comes with these changes, just like we see the natural changing of each season of the year from new growth to times of bareness. Interestingly scientists don’t all agree on the purpose of Fall changes and loss of leaves but do seem to agree that these changes help to prepare plants and trees to survive throughout the colder months and to bring forth new growth in the Spring.
It’s comforting to know that changes happen in order to bring new things to life. Although change can be hard to experience, like unexpected losses of loved ones, jobs, dreams, and more, these losses often make way for beautiful transformation within our hearts. Even though tough to recognize while going through them, God’s words assure us that He is working all of it together for our good (Romans 8:28), to strengthen and build us up to not only survive through the winters of our lives but to thrive through life’s ups-and-downs.
As well, like Isaiah 41:10 encourages, we’re not going through them alone. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
4. See through the Darkness to Light
Winter can seem like the longest and dreariest time of the year with less sunlight and warmth. Yet as seeds go through a time of being hidden, where their hard seed coat is softened up by the weathering processes, so do we, too, at times go through similar times in our spiritual lives. Times like a seed’s stratification process, where the seed is hidden away and something deep within is triggered to grow, expand, and break through to experience and see the sunlight. During these hidden, dark times in our lives is where our hearts, too, are being put through the softening process.
Sometimes we forget God is at work in our lives to bring new growth just like He does in the natural world. He is cultivating the seeds planted within us, so even during dormant times, where growth doesn’t appear to be taking place, we can be confident He is bringing new things to life in us, too. As 1 Corinthians 3:7 explains, God is the one who causes the growth in our lives.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
No matter what season of life we find ourselves as believers in Jesus Christ or what conditions we are currently enjoying or enduring, God is faithful and is with us. We are not alone. Whether life is going as planned or has taken unexpected directions, we have the comfort and confidence in knowing God is navigating our way through each one.
4 Lessons for Navigating the Seasons of Life
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/alexmak72427
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.