It's finally summer in New York. We New Yorkers have been waiting so long to feel the warm sun on our backs that we treat a little 70-degree day like a full blown summer day at the beach. We've had a long winter and a seemingly endless Spring. It just felt like it was time to move on to something new. I was especially getting anxious because I love the feeling I get when I know summer is around the corner. I feel alive and ready to explore the world. I'm not sure why the season brings on these feelings, but it seems like I know that certain things are supposed to happen in certain seasons. Fall brings leaves, Winter brings snow, Spring brings rain and Summer brings hot beach days and warm park nights. I am always ready and can anticipate what's going to happen with the changing of earthly seasons, but for some years I have a hard time discerning and preparing for my spiritual seasons.
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Where am I in life? Why do these things keep happening to me? What am I supposed to do now? I am doing everything I'm expected to do, but I can't seem to move forward, why?
I've asked myself these questions a million times and could never get a clear answer until I "ran" into this scripture one day.
Here's a little history about that scripture. Saul, the king of Israel, had just died in battle. In his place, David (the shepherd boy) becomes king, but he has a little problem. Israel is still in the middle of a battle with their arch-enemy, the Philistines. So David has no time to celebrate his new found position, he has to gather the troops and defeat the Philistines so that he can drive them out of their territory pronto. Amongst those who come together to fight are the men from the tribe of Issachar. These men were known to understand the signs of the times and give much-needed counsel. They knew what season the nation was in and knew how to move forward in this season of battle.
As soon as I read that I knew why I felt like I was going in circles. I never paid attention to the changing seasons of my life. Neither would I recognize or maximize the unique opportunities that God would place in my path in each particular season. I went through life much like everyone else, moving wherever the wind blew me. At times I would make decisions based on whatever desire I had at the time, for example, when I was bored with a job, I would put in for a promotion. When I felt like it was time to further my studies, I would apply for schools. At no point would I pay attention to the fact that I may not be prepared to handle a promotion or if it was even the right time to move in that direction. Let's just say that my life's decisions were not intentional and as a result unfruitful.
Here's another reason why you may feel stuck or lost. Have you ever experienced a break-through or an answer to a prayer, without taking a moment to get direction from God as to where you are to move next? No? Well, I certainly have. There were times when I would get down on my knees and pray to God for deliverance from a particular situation. God, as loving as he is would answer me, and I would grab that answer and run off with it like a thief in the night. I never stopped to ask God what to do with my answer. Where should I go next? What should I do? Is this a door leading to another door? Nope, I would not ask a thing. After my prayer was answered, I would only come back to pray for more answers like a junky going through a cycle. Pray, wait, get an answer, run off, pray, wait, get an answer, run off, and on it went.
If I were God, I would be tired of me. Especially knowing that if I would have waited around a bit and had a conversation with God, he would have given me an understanding of why I was getting my answer and what to do with it; which would have led me to understand the times and seasons. Let me put it this way. Knowing your season will bring some clarity to the answers you receive from God. Knowing your season will lessen the frustration that comes with slow progression or no progression at all. Knowing your season will help you to understand where you are now and where you are supposed to be going.
Let's Use The Natural Seasons To Describe The Spiritual Seasons
Spring is for....
Planting, Preparation, Watering & Waiting
- Spring - A time of new beginnings. In spring we re-work the earth, plant the seeds and water them. During this time the rains will come and water our seeds for us, but sometimes the rains are so heavy that the seeds uproot and wash away. So we have to make sure we plant good seeds, deep into the ground where they can be watered but not washed away by any storm.
In our Spring time, we should be planting seeds. This is the best time for preparation to move on to a higher level. This is the season to prepare for better education, go forward in our careers and take more time to draw closer to Jesus so that he can plant good seeds of spiritual fruit in us. This is not the time to make sudden moves on a whim. Spring is the time for planning, preparing, nourishing and most of all waiting. In this season, I wait but I don't wait around and twiddling my thumbs. I "actively" wait by spending more time in prayer, sitting before God so I can connect with him, learn from him and allow him to water my seeds. I read the Word to gain wisdom for the journey ahead, and I absorb all the information I can about whatever endeavor I am pursuing, preparing for what's coming ahead.
If you find yourself feeling a little anxious or motivated to take a step of faith into a new endeavor, you are feeling uncomfortable where you are now, or nothing might be moving at all, you may be in your Spring season. It's time to plant and nourish some seeds.
- Summer is a time where I can sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labor. It's warm, calm and my way forward seems clear. My seeds have bloomed, and I'm walking the path God has directed me. This seems like the season of stability but the summer months also bring hurricanes, tornadoes, and extreme heat. Your summer may be fruitful, but it may also be your time of testing. How do I weather the storm? I draw from what I've learned during my Spring season. The time I spent with God, the reading of his Word, the self-development all help me to get through any storm or tests that come my way. So never take advantage of the time or work you put forward in your Spring season.
- Fall is a time of shedding. A "falling away" of everything that does not benefit your move into future seasons. This will be the time that you may lose a job, friend or family member. You may lose material things or even worst everything all together. I have been through this season, and it is the roughest time of my life because I don't like to lose anything or anyone. During this period I have made the mistake of holding on to people who were meant to "fall away, " and it caused me a lot of future pains. So my advice is to let go of what is supposed to go.
Don't try to hold on to people or things passed their season. You will know when it's time to let go so trust your instinct. When they seem to take take a different path in life, and it is a struggle just to be around them, it's time to let go. When feelings of love, support and honesty are replaced with negative feelings like jealousy, distrust, possessiveness, and apathy. It's time to let go. Don't worry, they may show up again in another season for another purpose, but for now, it's time to let it go.
Most people say that Spring is the time for cleaning, but Fall is the season for cleaning out the house; letting go of the old and dead to make room for the new. You may mourn your losses during this time, and that's ok, don't worry because the old must go in order to make room for the new. It will all work out for your good.
- Winter is a time of rest. Everything seems to slow down significantly and try as you may to move forward, you will not get any response. Although it's summer in New York, I am currently in my spiritual winter where nothing is moving, and it seems like no one is moving on my behalf. Because I can discern my seasons, I am not worried. Although I feel like God is far from me in this season, I trust that he has not forgotten me. So I take rest in knowing that no season lasts forever and my Spring and Summer will come eventually. No need to get ready for Spring because I am not sure when Spring is coming. All I know is now is the time for me relax and wait.
Everyone's season is different and each season may last longer than the others. The important thing to know is that no season lasts forever. Take the time to learn and grow in whatever season you are in because each will prepare you for the next.
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Until next time,
Live in gratitude. Live in love.