Growing up as a child back East…I was very accustomed to the 4 seasons…Spring…Summer …Autumn…and Winter.
I have sweet memories of experiencing and enjoying each season as it came …and always anticipating the excitement of the next season as one season ended and another began.
Having lived in Arizona for the last 15 years…I can say that even though we do have 4 seasons…many people would claim that we only have 2 seasons…hot and hotter!
There are certainly great benefits of living in Arizona and having warmer weather pretty much year round…but unfortunately we don’t experience the 4 seasons and the unique characteristics that depict each season as in other parts of the country.
And for some of you shoveling snow right now…you are probably thinking how you could care less about experiencing the unique characteristics of each season…like snow in the winter!
As we know…seasons are periods of the year that are typically marked by their own particular weather conditions and temperatures… depending on the part of the country you live in.
And whether we like one season over another season…God created the 4 seasons on the 4th day of creation and determined…according to His sovereignty…when one season ends and another begins. After all, He is the creator of time…and seasons.
Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Genesis 1:14 NLT
Just as Spring…Summer…Autumn…and Winter mark the 4 seasons…we as Christians experience these 4 seasons…spiritual seasons…in our lives as well.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1KJV
A characterization of each season is important in understanding just how these seasons correlate into our lives as Christians.
Spring is characterized by more daylight…moderate temperatures…and plants beginning or resuming growing.
Summer is characterized by the most daylight…warmer temperatures (Hotter than hot temps in AZ!)…and plants growing and maturing.
Autumn is characterized by daylight lessoning…moderate to cooler temperatures…and plants mature and beginning to go dormant.
Winter is characterized by less daylight…colder temperatures…and most plants either die or go dormant.
These 4 physical seasons can be correlated to 4 spiritual seasons in our spiritual walk as well as in our current circumstances.
Are you in a Spring season?
Just like the trees and plants and flowers are beginning to grow and bloom in Spring…we too may be beginning to experience a great hunger and desire to grow in our relationship with God…whether we are a new Christian or not.
Or maybe we are beginning a new season…a new chapter…in our lives…
Or maybe a new thing is sprouting up…like a new phase of parenting…or a new job…or a new vision for our lives.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed. Isaiah 43:19-20 NLT
The temperatures of your life are nice and fairly mild in Spring as you may feel a new freshness in your life!
Are you in a Summer season?
Just like the trees and plants and flowers are maturing in the Summer…we too are experiencing greater growth and maturity in our relationship with God.
And just as the temperatures in Summer are the hottest…sometimes the heat in our lives is turned up too!
We may be experiencing greater pressures…greater challenges…greater struggles in this season of our life…we may feel like we are literally going through the fire!
For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. Malachi 3:3 NLT
But it is in this fire…it is in this heat…that we experience greater growth and maturity in our relationship with God!
Why? Because the challenges and pressures and struggles in our lives push us to seek God even more than ever! These challenges…pressures…struggles push us to rely on His strength…not ours!
9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP
The temperatures of your life may certainly be hot in Summer…but God…as the Refiner…is sitting in the heat with you…every step of the way!
Are you in an Autumn season?
Just as trees and plants and flowers have matured and their fruits are harvested in Autumn…we too may be experiencing a harvest in our lives.
We are reaping the benefits of spending time with God…praying and studying God’s Word. We are reaping the benefits of leaning on God and trusting Him. The benefits of spending time with Him is evident as our faith in God has grown stronger and we finally experience peace and joy in our lives.
I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. John 15:5 MSG
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22 NIV
We may have also put in a lot of time…energy…and efforts in certain areas of our lives…like marriage…relationships…physical well-being…jobs…and are now seeing the fruits of our labor!
You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Psalm 128:2 NLT
The temperatures of your life may be more pleasant…moderate to cool…in Autumn as you see God’s faithfulness in your life after you have sowed and sowed and sowed!
Are you in a Winter season?
Just like the trees and plants and flowers die or are dormant in the Winter…we too may be experiencing a death…the passing of a loved one…the end of a career or job…the end of a marriage or relationship.
Maybe you are experiencing a dormancy…an inactivity…in your relationship with God or in your prayers to God.
Maybe you have put forth a lot of time…energy…efforts towards a relationship…new job…or treatment for an illness…and just don’t see anything happening…
You have prayed and petitioned…you have trusted and believed in God… and haven’t yet received any answers.
Be encouraged in this Winter season!
God knows the seeds that are lying dormant underground in the stillness and cold of Winter. He knows…He sees…What you do not!
I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” Isaiah 55:8-11 MSG
The temperatures in your life are cold…and silent in Winter…but remember God is all-knowing and all-powerful and all-present…and He is always on time!
It doesn’t matter whether your current physical season corresponds with your current spiritual season because…
More importantly…remember that God created seasons to change! Just like the physical seasons change…so it is with our spiritual seasons!
Whether we are in a good season or difficult season…whether we like it or not…God is in complete control!
We will all experience these 4 seasons…We will all experience Spring…Summer… Autumn… and Winter spiritually in our lives. We must stay the course and embrace the changing seasons because change means transformation. And we are being transformed to look more and more like Christ!
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
And to drive this point even further…check this out!
In case you didn’t know, many scholars have researched that numbers in the bible are symbolic and have relevance. There is biblical significance in the number 4.
The number 4 means earthly completeness in form or function…it denotes creative works and always has reference to the material creation…as pertaining to the earth…things “under the sun” …and things terrestrial.
It is not coincidental that God created the 4 seasons on the 4th day! The physical universe was set into motion and created on the 4th day of creation. Interestingly…
There are 4 elements: earth…air…fire…and water.
There are 4 corners (directions) of the earth: north…south…east…and west.
Even the 4th Commandment in Exodus 20:8…Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…. is a statement of God’s resting from His creative work. The Sabbath is commanded for His creatures to rest…enjoy Him…and glorify Him.
God is a purposeful God…nothing is formed or created by accident! Just like Him creating the 4 physical seasons is a sign of completeness in His physical creation…Him allowing us to experience all 4 spiritual seasons in our lives is a pathway and sign of completeness in Him!
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4 NIV
When we understand God’s ultimate purpose to make us mature…complete…and not lacking anything in these changing seasons…we can push through the difficult seasons of life and find joy and peace in the good seasons of life!
- What season are you in spiritually?
- What is God’s ultimate purpose in the changing seasons?
- Does knowing God’s plan and purpose help you to push through the difficult seasons in your life?
- God created seasons to change! Just like the physical seasons change…so it is with our spiritual seasons! Whether we are in a good season or difficult season…whether we like it or not…God is in complete control!
- We will all experience these 4 seasons…We will all experience Spring…Summer… Autumn… and Winter spiritually in our lives. We must stay the course and embrace the changing seasons because change means transformation. And we are being transformed to look more and more like Christ!
- God is a purposeful God…nothing is formed or created by accident! Just like Him creating the 4 physical seasons is a sign of completeness in His physical creation…Him allowing us to experience all 4 spiritual seasons in our lives is a pathway and sign of completeness in Him!