For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)
I bet you’re all enjoying the start of summer. The lazy days. Doing things with your friends. Visiting the local swimming pool. Maybe playing on a baseball or softball league. Summer can be a time to sit back, relax and enjoy what the Lord has to offer us. He has blessed us so mightily in the things of the earth.
I enjoy the flowers and hearing the birds sing before the sun comes up in the morning. I like being able to take longer walks and getting a chance to read more. You might like the longer daylight hours and warmer weather. Or just the fact that there are no tests or homework or projects you have to be working on.
Summer is just one of the seasons that the Lord allows us to enjoy. But summer doesn’t happen just like that. There are other seasons that have gone before and will come after. It might be our favorite season, but it takes all the other seasons of the year to make it what it is.
Take a look at the trees in your backyard or the flowers at the neighbors. Those things didn’t just happen overnight. They had to go through their own seasons in order to look the way they do right now. Last fall, the leaves started dropping from the trees and the flowers starting turning brown. By winter, they were a part of the soil, keeping it safe through the cold and returning nutrients to the earth. In the spring, they awoke from their winter nap, started drawing on those nutrients and began to grow again so we could enjoy them this summer.
Our lives have seasons, too, just like the plants and the trees. And just like those things, we may have to go through some difficult seasons in order to see our summer.
Genesis 8:22 (NLT) tells us that there are basically two types of seasons – planting and harvest. “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” The planting time is preparation time. In the winter the ground gets cold and kills the bugs and other things that are harmful. In the spring, the plants begin to grow once again, drawing strength from the preparation time.
This might just be a preparation time for you and your family. The things that may have caused problems are being done away with so they won’t be a problem anymore. The Lord is protecting your tender family so that it can grow strong roots of faith and trust. Then, when the seed is planted – praying for Mom or Dad’s salvation, forgiving, showing unconditional love – it will have a rich source to draw from.
What would happen if the leaves never fell from the trees or the flowers never died? How would they be protected through the winter? Where would they get their nourishment in the spring? Just like with the things of the earth, the harvest time cannot happen without the preparation time.
Tomorrow when you go outside, take a look at that tree in your backyard. Remember what it looked like in the fall and in the winter. Nothing like it looks right now, right? It might even have looked dead. But it wasn’t dead. It was just preparing. See what the Lord can do in the preparation time to bring about the harvest for your family.
Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty…He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. Psalm 104:1,19
A Stander in Nebraska