Seasons within a Season

Spring is the season I crave most.

Everything feels newly awakened and alive. It's time to buy a new journal or devotional and share my spiritual journey with others. I am easily moved to tears of joy during sermons or while listening to Christian songs. I see growth and can easily trace God's finger working in my life from day to day. It seems that each morning I awaken to another blossom of God's goodness opening before me.


Summer is that mature plateau where I see regular victories over my fleshly desires.

I bask in the daily sunlight of God's presence, and enjoy the peace of knowing that I'm in His will. I am swift to bring my needs before the throne of God because I feel welcome there. I've seen God answer prayers recently, and I delight to see him working in the lives of those around me as well. Oh that summer would last forever!

Autumn is marked by a sudden frost.

Maybe I bristle under a message, or I skip my daily time with God because I am busy or feel like I don't need it today. I lose some spiritual ground. Maybe I succumb to my temper or give in to a carnal desire. Maybe I lack joy and become cynical. When I realize what's happening, I try yet harder in my own strength to keep the fruit of the Spirit visible, but it's obviously forced and eventually I give up, ushering in...



The desolation and desperation I feel in this season run deep. My Bible is only opened at church, and my prayers echo the psalmist, "My God, why hast thou cast me down?" I go into hibernation mode, hiding my pain from those closest to me. I feel far from God. I know He has promised never to forsake me, but the distance between us is unsettling; what if I was never really His? The blizzard of doubt and loneliness threatens to isolate me forever.

Until almost without warning, spring arrives again, reassuring me of God's love and presence and goodness. Sometimes it's through a friend's needed counsel, other times it's a timely sermon, and still other times spring is brought back by a song, a verse, or even a trial that shatters winter's icy grip and warms me through with the rekindling of my love for God.

It would be inaccurate to view singleness as one season, and marriage as another separate season. Though many Christian women refer to singleness as a season (and assume it's probably just winter all the time), these single years of mine have experienced each of these spiritual seasons multiple times. Winter blues aren't brought on simply because I don't have a man, and spring doesn't wait to come until I do. Spring and autumn are marked by almost-daily changes, while summer and winter stretch on, seeming to be endless. 

As a Christian woman, you may find it helpful to recognize that your life goes through these spiritual seasons, which cycle independently of your marital status or the elemental seasons.  Take some time to assess where you are today. If you are in a warm sunny season of closeness and drawing nearer each day to God, thank God for the daily joys He issues to you. If you are in a season of winter dormancy, recognize that it's a natural part of your spiritual walk and resist the discouragement that often accompanies it.
I used to think I was failing as a Christian when my life was marked with the barrenness that comes with winter. But I've since learned that the winter's death is essential in order for spring to breathe new life. Outward dormancy and rest does not mean that God is not still working deep inside my heart where it cannot be seen. God is always faithful to bring a growing season, filled with spiritual fruits springing out of the most desolate places in my heart.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."John 15:2
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."John 12:24
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2


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