The last few months have been some of the most blessed and some of the most challenging of my life. I don’t understand how those two things coexist, but they usually do. The season we are currently in can be described best in one word: transition.
You know – the “in between” times of life. If you live long enough, you begin to recognize those periods that move you out of one season and into the next. Our oldest daughter and her husband have just given us our first grandchild. Our second daughter just accepted a position to serve for a time in a ministry in another state. Last week we dropped our son off at college and officially became empty nesters.
Over the last few months, new team members and a new facility have been added to our ministry. This month, my dad and mom officially retire from the pastorate of our home church. Life has been full of a whole range of emotions and changes.
Not bad. Just different. And, in some ways…disorienting. These are the times that must drive us to the God who never changes. I have been meditating much on Ecclesiastes 3, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” These are the truths that God is teaching me in this time of so much transition.
- Life is marked by seasons. You cannot measure simply by days or years. There are definite periods of time when the Lord deals with us in specific ways.
- Every season is different. Take the time to read Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. These are the extremes of life and, in time, we experience all of them.
- Some seasons are more enjoyable than others. Fall is my favorite season of the year, but you can’t stay in your favorite season forever. We don’t get to pick our season or determine when one begins and another ends. God created seasons (Genesis 1:14) and only He controls them (Daniel 2:21).
- God works in every season. We have seasons of weariness, but He is always strong. We have seasons of perplexity, but He is always wise. We have seasons that seem unproductive, but the Lord is always accomplishing His plan. Yes, God works in every season.
- This season is getting you ready for the next season. Every season prepares us for the next, and even the hard seasons have their purpose.
- Every season is getting you ready for eternity. Solomon’s classic description of life’s seasons leads to this amazing expression: “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” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). We see only time; He sees eternity. Perhaps you feel stuck in this season of life, but the eternal God is preparing you for eternity.
- Stop trying to change the season and seek to know your God. This is the ultimate aim of all of life! A young Solomon writing Song of Solomon, a middle age Solomon writing Proverbs, an aging Solomon writing Ecclesiastes – all needed the same thing: to know God. Instead of trying to get out of the season you are in, seek to let Him put in to you what He has for this season. It will not be a wasted season if you come to know Him more intimately.
What is the best season of life? The season when you are closest to God! And that can be any season. The transition you may find yourself in is simply the next step toward all that God has for you.