The Spiritual Seasons of Life
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My wife and I just returned from our first camping trip of the year. We were excited to get the cover off of our travel trailer, de-winterize, and get everything set up for our 2022 camping season. It seems our spiritual lives have seasons as well. Do you know what season of faith you are in? I invite you to read more.
Unless you live somewhere where there is year-round ideal weather, most campers have to contend with the four seasons of the camping year. There is preseason preparation, camping season, post season winterization and sadly, the off season.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it is written, “God has made everything appropriate to its time.”
Of course, we all know that nature give us the seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each offers its own beauty and its own challenges. The seasons are controlled by two things: the earth’s tilt and its orbit around the sun.
The Christian Liturgical Year also has seasons. The six seasons are: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Sacred Pascal Triduum, Easter, and finally Ordinary Time. We are currently still within the 50 days of the Easter Season. The mystery of Christ unfolds from season to season beckoning to us to live out the mystery of our own life.
Many other aspects of life have seasons as well. School seasons tend to follow the calendar seasons. Businesses have seasons reflected by their age and success. These would include, the launch, growth, shake-out, maturity, and decline season. Plant life has four seasons or stages. They consist of, seed, sprout, small plant, and the adult plant stage. Humans also have seasons. We have pregnancy, infancy, the toddler years, childhood, puberty, older adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and finally the senior season of life.
Of most importance to today’s message is our spiritual seasons. One online Christian blogger identified 6 Spiritual Seasons of Life: the dry season, the waiting season, the grinding season, the testing and trial season, the spiritual warfare season, and the happy season. This blogger made the point that the first step to flourishing in any spiritual season is recognizing which one you’re in. I think that is great advice.
Another way to look at the seasons of faith would be to see them much like the stages of human development. We have the new believer season, the infant faith season, the adolescent faith season, the adult faith season and finally the mature or senior faith season.
Yet another Christian blogger described only four spiritual seasons. This approach really resonated with me. She divided faith into the following seasons:
The Growing Season is a time of change and stretching. During this phase of spirituality our faith undergoes its growing pains.
The Pruning Season is the time when we take a serious look at our attitudes and beliefs to determine what things we need to let go of. The Bible tells us we are tested like gold in fire. This testing often takes place during the pruning season.
The Wilderness Season is often a time of loneliness and suffering. During this season God’s voice can seem distant or silent. We know that Jesus spent time in the desert. It is really important to remember that God is often closest to us during this season, even when we don’t feel His presence. Psalm 34:19 says it this way, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.”
The Harvest Season is the time when we often reap the benefits of seeds that were planted during the other seasons. God’s many blessing seem more tangible and present during this time. This is not just a time to count blessings, it is a time to be a good steward of the many blessing we have received by giving back to others generously, just like God has been generous to us.
Regardless of which names you prefer to use to describe your spiritual seasons, there is no doubt that our faith passes through seasons. If you are in the growing season, I pray that you can endure the growing pains. If you are in the pruning season, I pray that you can cut off those areas in your life that you need to let go of. If you are in the wilderness season, I pray that you can unite your suffering with the sufferings of our crucified Lord Jesus Christ. And finally, if you are in the harvest season, I pray that you can share your many blessings with others.
As I stated earlier, liturgically speaking, we are still in the Easter Season. Hopefully we can find endless joy simply by knowing that Jesus rose from the dead in order to give eternal life to all who believe in Him.
So let me close with the question that I started with. What spiritual season are you currently in?
Heavenly Father, I know that your Holy Spirit is always at my side, no matter what spiritual season I am going through. Give me the courage to face whatever I encounter, and help me to realize that a different season may be right around the corner. Thank you, Jesus, for the hope you have offered to me during this Easter season. Help me to keep my eyes focused on you until the day I arrive at that unending Heavenly Season in Paradise. Amen!
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