6/28/2017 5:55:35 PM
Summer may be the season people love the most. I've been thinking about why that is ... balmy nights, longer days, flowers in all their glory, watermelon, time at the beach, time at the lake with friends, picnics, more relaxed schedules.
Southern California, where I live, does not really have seasons that are too dramatic-one way or the other, in terms of climate. At an outdoor concert last week, Mac Powell of Third Day, (band from Atlanta), commented, 'Wow, do y'all ever have bad weather here?!' Rhetorical question because we really do not.
Now, growing seasons in my garden? For sure. It was just a few short months ago that my apricot tree was bare ... then there were leaves, and suddenly overnight, buds appeared miraculously from nowhere it seemed and finally ... fruit. Yesterday I picked several pounds of cots and then canned them. Now the tree looks like this:
Similarly, beautiful Queen Anne's Lace in my front garden were little sprigs in Spring, and then they began to grow, producing delightful sprays of delicate white flowers.
Perfect in my garden setting, a lovely compliment to any cut bouquet . . . now they are almost spent.
A little wistful I am, but it is the way life goes.
We sprout, flourish, and then are spent.
Ah, yes, now we are talking - seasons in our personal lives; the human condition includes every sort of season. The brilliant writer of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, captured seasons in their entirety:
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.1
See, the thing is - life is full of seasons.
Not always good news, but it is the truth.
Turning about, I see seasons in the lives of my loved ones, and in my own:
There's the occurrence-a season change--and then what it brings~
~a brand-new job ... expectancy, challenge, validation
~a first baby on the way ... joy, wonder, hope, future
~a sudden loss of a family member ... 'wait, why?' futility, uncertainty, grief
~personal growth, desire for more of God ... blessing, joy, life!
~filing for divorce ... sorrow and hopeful expectancy too
~and on it goes
Friend, if you are in a season of growth, I dance with you.
If you are in a season of challenge, I struggle with you.
If you are in a season of applause, I celebrate you.
If you are sorrowful, I grieve with you, and so does God.
God is with you in every season of your life.
This Friday, I will officiate at the funeral of an Air Force man - a husband, father, and friend...a life well lived. In constructing his bio, I can easily see the seasons of his life.
What am I saying? Seasons in life are inevitable. But the same God who set the seasons of nature into motion is watching over our personal seasons, ever at our right hand if we will turn to him. As the psalmist sang, "I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."2
Alas, a few more summer musings, things I am experiencing and noticing on the journey, and then we set our direction back toward the Middle East to the place where the Christian church began. 'With me?
1 - Ecclesiastes 3.1-8
2 - Psalm 16.8