I’m about to enter a new season. I know a lot of us are. Some of us are moving to college, saying goodbye to possibly the only home we’ve ever known. Others are heading back to high school or middle school, or back to our jobs, starting a new year with newfound struggles. Still others may be heading into or out of tense emotional seasons, or seasons of shifting communities and relationships. I’ve always felt like this time of year specifically is a time of a lot of changing seasons. So, in this final blog post before I enter a completely new time in my life, I wanted to write about the importance of seasons.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Virginia Beach is comfortable to me. It always has been, it’s where my family and my best friends are, it’s where I know my way around, it’s where I grew up; it’s home. But if I’ve been in a season of living at home, that season is coming to a close. And something the Lord’s been teaching my friends and I lately is that we need to keep our hands open throughout change, being okay with not being in control. I can’t hold on to home forever, and like Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything. I have to keep a loose grip on the things I’m comfortable with, because they’re starting to shift. I bet for a lot of you, you’re going through the same.
Josh Garrels has a song about seasons changing. It’s called Rejoice & Lament, and it goes like this:
Learn this lesson well, my friend
There’s a time to rejoice and lament
Every season will find an end
All will fade and be made new again
There’s a lot of truth there; season change and we need to be alright with that. But seasons are not permanent, like Josh says, every season will find an end, and all will be made new again.
In another song, called Season of Rain, he says:
Praise the Lord, when it’s all gone wrong
Everything fades but our love shines on
Praise the Lord, when your hope is gone
Everything fades but our love shines on
You might be in a season of hardship, or you might just be entering a season of newness. But something that’s crucial to remember is that God is in control of these seasons, and He who knows what’s best for us uses seasons to build our faith. He uses seasons of hardship and pain to fortify our faiths, building it deeper and stronger, so we can come out of that season trusting the Lord more. Other times, He uses fruitful seasons to give us a glimpse of Heaven, encouraging us to push on in our journeys.
What we have to remember about seasons, although they can be used to bring good, they don’t define us. Just because our surroundings change, that doesn’t mean Christ’s heart changes. No matter what season we’re in, we’re still called to pursue and praise the Lord more and more, like that last song says. If we don’t do this, and let our circumstances define us, we negate the purpose of a season altogether. In the same way that my Dad’s cancer is helping us pursue Christ more, seasons are used to bring us all closer to Christ. Turn to God’s Word when you don’t know what to do, because when life is like a rushing river, and the water is rising fast, God’s Word is a steady rock that sits dry above the roar. And remember not to be overcome by a season. In seasons of hardship, God never calls us to do nothing. 1 Peter 4:19 says:
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
That verse is clear as day. Keep pursuing Christ and doing good no matter what you’re going through. To my friends starting college, hold home loosely in your hands, and don’t be dragged down by the newness and by missing what’s comfortable and known. Push hard for Jesus in those times of confusion, in shifting communities, in shifting lives; Jesus remains the same and desires pursuit no matter what. Apathy isn’t excusable. Seek life in times of death, seek light when all you see is darkness.
So, here I am about to enter a wildly different time of life. I leave for South Africa in ten days from today. It’s kept me up late a few nights, and my heart is full of a lot of emotions. This blog has been a joy to write in for the past few months, and I’m not sure what it’ll look like while I’m in Africa, but my intention is to post more regularly, probably once a week, and to write stories and share pictures from the villages I’ll be staying in. Stay tuned for this next season, and I’d appreciate prayers throughout this major shift of life.
Don’t stop fighting for the Lord no matter what you’re going through.