Everything Has a Season

September 30th, 2011

You may have noticed that time just keeps moving forward whether we like it or not. Sometimes we hardly notice the passage of time. We’re looking forward to our summer vacation and then, the next thing we know, we’re shopping for school supplies and fall clothing. Other times the passage of time is very obvious. We see signs that the weather is changing or that stores are swapping out seasonal decorations.

In many parts of the country, this is the time of year when leaves change colors and temperatures drop. The hot days of summer have been replaced by brisk autumn air and chilly evenings. Even if we miss the summer, something inside us leans into the change. We dig through our closets to find hoodies and sweaters. We make chili in the slow cooker and begin strategizing for fantasy football. We reflect on the past while wondering what the next season has in store.

Summer and fall are seasons in the most literal sense of the word; but not all seasons are determined by the tilt of the earth’s axis. Seasons can also be the result of events and life experiences.

Seasons in Scripture

The Bible has quite a bit to say about the change of seasons. The writer of Ecclesiastes famously says, “There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). No matter what season we are in now, that season will eventually pass. There will be seasons of joy and seasons of suffering, seasons of certainty and seasons of change.

Job, for whom a season of comfort and prosperity was followed by a dark and despairing season, was able to say, “The LORD has given; the LORD has taken; bless the LORD’S name” (Job 1:21). And Paul, in Philippians, could say that he faced every kind of situation and had “learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance” (Philippians 4:12b).

While there is plenty of change, uncertainty, and instability in the Bible, Scripture is clear that God’s love is constant. Psalm 136 includes the refrain, “God’s faithful love lasts forever.” (Many translations use the word “steadfast” instead of “faithful.”) Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” Seasons will come and go, but God will always be there.

The Seasons of Our Lives

Changes in season, such as the recent transition from summer to fall, are opportunities for us to evaluate the seasons of our lives. We can look back on seasons of doubt and questioning, seasons of joy and activity, seasons of aimlessness, and seasons of hope and motivation. Reflecting may help us as we move through the current season of our lives.

The youth that you work with, even in their relatively short lives, likely have faced more ups and downs and changes in seasons than you realize. They have had seasons when they’ve been under pressure to perform at school. Some have gone through seasons following the divorce of their parents or the loss of a friend or family member. They’ve also had seasons of joy following successes or blessings. As they consider the seasons of their lives, help youth look for ways that God has been present with them through it all. How has God given them guidance? How have they experienced God’s love? How has God protected and comforted them?

Seasons change, but God is forever. As Christians we have responsibilities as we move through the seasons of our lives. We should praise God in good seasons and bad. We should give thanks for seasons of joy and health and pray for comfort and strength during seasons of despair. We should ask for wisdom in seasons of uncertainty and humility during seasons of prosperity. And we should lift up prayers of petition for those who are going through seasons of suffering.

This article is also published as part of LinC, a weekly digital resource for youth small groups and Sunday school classes. The complete study guide can be purchased and downloaded here.

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