When someone initially told me that the scenario I was in was bad, I was shocked “It's only a season,” I insisted, confident they had no idea! How could what I was going through be merely a phase? The more I pursued God and matured spiritually, the more I realized they were correct: that season had been “only a season.” What if we went through life with the mindset that each season would teach us something about strength, endurance, growth, faith, and trust? Would we act differently if we were in a different situation?
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That's it “I'm here to tell you that whatever “thing” you're going through right now, whether it's difficulties in your marriage, friendships, or child-parent interactions, it's only for a season. How can we get through those seasons, is the question.
We'll need a road map first. We must comprehend what occurs during a spiritual autumn, winter, spring, and summer. We are able to manage whatever life throws our way if we have a firm understanding of the spiritual seasons.
God uses natural examples to help us comprehend our spiritual seasons. Our spiritual seasons are usually the same as what we see in nature, although the timing of nature's seasons, when we go through ours, and the length of our seasons do not always match.
When you look at nature, this is usually a moment when everything start to break apart. This is when the temperature and leaves start to change, indicating that fall is approaching. Perhaps God is urging you to let go of some things in your life. What is it that He wants you to let go of?
Nature serves as an excellent model for how this should be implemented in our daily lives. We often wish to cling on to items that could bring troubles in the coming season. The spiritual fall is an excellent time for you to strengthen your faith in God.
In the natural world, we associate winter with repose. Outside, things are usually not developing or blossoming at this time. Animals hibernate (rest), and if we're wise, we'll follow nature's lead when God leads us into a spiritual winter.
The rest should not be fought. Rather, we should be grateful for the chance to rest! This is an excellent moment to seek God's guidance and future steps. During this time, pray and journal. If you receive enough rest during a spiritual winter, ideas will usually flow.
Because it's not yet time to harvest or act on the ideas, you may be restless or unsure, but you can be proactive about planning and getting yourself ready for a plentiful spring. Take advantage of His kindness and relax in Him.
We all enjoy the revitalizing sensations that spring provides! When we are in a spiritual spring, we have a new passion for life and an irrepressible sensation. This is the time of year when we begin to plant those thoughts that may have occurred to us over the winter and witness the first signs of blossoms and warmth as our ideas begin to grow through our interactions and connections. In our spiritual spring, we are seeing God act in our favor. We don't usually have a hard time believing Him at this season.
Summer is a season that everyone enjoys. In the natural world, this is a period when humans usually combine labor with play. I just read an article that highlighted the contrast between the heat and the chill you feel throughout the summer. So, while we should continue to work steadily, we should also take rests to avoid overheating.
What does this mean in terms of spirituality? This is the moment to harvest the benefits of your spiritual spring planting. It's a time to keep working while also ensuring that you get some rest and leisure.
This is also a good opportunity to get rid of any “weeds” that may try to pop up and distract us. A spiritual summer can be quite beneficial to us if we restrict our distractions.
I hope this helps you figure out which spiritual season you're in right now. I know that once I grasped the concept of spiritual seasons, I was able to extend grace to myself in each new season that God led me through. As I observed Him act on my behalf in each season, I was able to trust Him more and grow in faith.
How do you deal with spiritual autumns and winters? During a spiritual winter or fall, how might you learn to trust God more?
I'd love for you to join the Guilt-Free Girlfriends Group on Facebook to connect with me and other wives and moms who are looking to develop community, grow in grace, and encourage each other through each season! So come join us – it's completely free!
What are the spiritual seasons?
We will pass through numerous experiences with so much more calm if we understand that there are seasons to life and that they are temporary; if we understand their features and how to deal with each season. That is why it is important to learn about the seasons of life.
I realize I'm not the first to write about this, but unlike some others, I'm not going to correlate the natural seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall to life seasons. No, I've noticed four seasons that I would call very differently: the Wilderness, the Warring, the Winning, and the Waiting seasons. They are life's spiritual seasons. Perhaps you will be able to relate to them as well.
What does it mean when God says it's your season?
Have you ever felt like you're standing still while everything around you is moving? You have huge aspirations and a bold vision, but it appears like nothing and no one is working together to help you achieve them. I can tell you that I've been there a few times. When you desperately want something, it's even more frustrating when you believe God has stated it's yours.
As time passes, you begin to doubt your faith and sanity. Is it truly necessary for me to pursue my dreams? Is this a vision that God gave me or one that I made up? Perhaps I should give up and try something new. It's usually at this time that we come across someone who says something to the effect of, “Don't be concerned! It's just not your time of year. Patience is required. “Your time will come.”
I'm giggling as I type this since I'm sure I've said similar things to pals in the hopes of encouraging them. In a similar circumstance, I'm sure that would be the last thing I'd want to hear. When I'm ready to get down to business, I want to hear someone remark, “It's your time to shine. “Now is your chance!”
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phrase, it is when someone says, “When people say “it's your season,” they usually mean “springtime,” when they mean “time for growth and flowering.”
It indicates the waiting is ended, and God is accelerating your life. When it comes to “When it comes to “your season,” you believe everything is possible.
But recently, I've been wondering if we've missed some of the message about life's seasonality. Is it only appropriate to rejoice when we are in the midst of a period of progress and prosperity? Is it true that just because we aren't doing what we think we should be doing, we aren't accomplishing anything at all? I find it difficult to believe that a God who created four seasons in nature only granted us one season to appreciate during our lives. No, I believe we have placed ourselves in this box. Perhaps the straightforward reality is…
I understand that this may not be to our liking.
We adore spring because everything is new and fresh, and everything grows and blossoms into a riotous display of color. Spring is a visual representation of hope, and when it comes to our life, unexpected blessings flood us like fresh rain. New opportunities and assignments are opening up in a spectacular way.
The glorious celebration of summer continues, revealing its splendor all around. Everyone wants to be a part of what's going on in our life now that it's peak season.
However, in the fall, we begin to get concerned. There is beauty, but it appears in a different way. When we understand it won't endure, we grow frightened and spend countless hours attempting to cling on even as it crumbles. We don't know why things are changing and, more significantly, why we can't stop it.
We're a little down by the time our winter hits. What we had seems to have vanished. There's nothing new on the horizon, and the breakneck pace we've grown accustomed to is absent. Instead, we rush around looking for something to do since we are not productive until we are occupied. And, of course, we must be productive, because we are worthless if we are not.
It may seem foolish to read it, but living it can be excruciating. Many of us have constructed our entire sense of self-worth around what we do rather than who we are. So, when we can't do what we're supposed to do, we're at a loss.
Perhaps by examining the life of a tree, we can learn a few things to help us relax.
A tree's life cycle is preprogrammed from the moment it develops, allowing it to get the most out of each season. Some are designed to remain green all year, while others are designed to undergo a more visual transformation each year. Those trees that alter in a more visible manner, comparable to us, have an obvious path.
- Its growing seasons are spring and summer. There's lots of sunlight, so the tree thrives and produces lovely green leaves. You'd believe the tree has reached its peak at this moment. What could possibly be more gorgeous than seeing it in full bloom?
- However, when autumn comes, the amount of sunshine decreases, and many trees begin to display a stunning palette of reds, yellows, and oranges. Surprisingly, the colors have always been there, but the summer sun kept them from showing through.
- The leaves on the tree begin to fall as winter approaches. We commonly refer to the tree losing its leaves, however the tree actually secretes a chemical that causes the leaves to fall off. It recognizes that nutrients are scarce during the winter months. As a result, it sheds its leaves to go dormant, conserving energy for the spring rebirth.
Each bullet contains so many valuable life lessons that I could dedicate a whole blog to it! If we only remember one thing, let it be the value of appreciating each season for the beauty and benefits it brings. Yes, our spring and summer seasons are spectacular, but our fall and winter seasons may also be vibrant, full of wonder, and delight.
Our problem is that we often spend our winters wishing for summer instead of shedding, resting, and rejuvenating ourselves. Maybe it's because we've never been taught to cherish silence. We believe that in order to be useful, we must be active.
However, God does sit us down from time to time to restore, renew, rejuvenate, and reconcile us to Himself. It's not that it isn't our season; it's simply that it isn't spring. And that's fine. We're OK. We are still important and cherished.
Embrace whichever stage of life you're in! If you're on a winter break, take advantage of it without guilt, apology, or shame. Take care of your blooming blooms if it's springtime in your area. Is it summertime in your neck of the woods? Then let it all hang out and give God the glory.
Seasons change, and life moves on with the same ferocity as the hands of the clock. Let us make the most of where we are right now and leave the rest to God.
What are the seasons of God?
God's Seasons is a book on God's seasons. In his book The Seasons of God, Richard Blackaby explains. It's a serious examination of God's patterns at work in our liveshow His will is carried out in the most effective manner at the most appropriate time. Every aspect of your life, including your plans, relationships, job, and mission, has its own God-ordained moment.
What are the seasons of Christianity?
Western Christian liturgical calendars, including Lutheran, Anglican, and other Protestant calendars, are based on the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church's cycle, which predates the Reformation. Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time (Time following Epiphany), Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time are the liturgical seasons of western Christianity (Time after Pentecost). Ordinary Time is not observed in several Protestant traditions; instead, each day is assigned to a season.
With regard to the calendars of the Western Christian Churches that utilize the Revised Common Lectionary, including Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Lutherans, and some Baptists, among others, Vanderbilt University Professor Hoyt L. Hickman states:
All of these calendars agree that the Lord's Day is the most important of the year's observances, and that the Christian Year is divided into two core cycles: Easter and Christmas. A festival season (Easter and Christmas) precedes each cycle, as does a season of preparation and anticipation (Lent and Advent). Lent and Advent are immediately preceded by a transitional Sunday (Transfiguration and Christ the King) in most denominational versions of the Common Lectionary, while the Easter and Christmas Seasons are immediately followed by a transitional Sunday (Transfiguration and Christ the King) (Trinity and Baptism of the Lord).
With the exception of Lutheran and Anglican Churches, Protestant Churches generally observe fewer saints' feasts than the liturgical denominations indicated above, as well as the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
What is a spiritual winter season?
The irony of sharing a post on winter with you on the summer solstice. We are, at least in the northern hemisphere, experiencing days that are longer than nights. My Alaskan friends are out fishing or playing in the midnight sun, while I, who am currently visiting family in Idaho, am enjoying the spontaneity of summer's schedule, or lack thereof, and letting my kids stay up until ten o'clock simply because I've lost track of time and how could it be so late when it's still light out?
Do you feel like your heart is ready to soar with the summer breeze? Or do you blink against the daylight's brazen breeching into the dark, muted areas of your soul because of the excitement? If this is the case, you may be in a spiritual winter season.
INDICATORS OF A SPIRITUAL WINTER OF THE SOUL
A season of dormancy is essential necessary for a plant's growth and fruitfulness, according to nature. The effect is the same whether the season is snowy or dry, and a forced rest will occur before any fruit is produced. I believe we humans can learn a thing or two from God's creation's rhythms and cycles (which, we are also a part of).
“Winter delivers some of the most profound and enlightening times of our human existence, and those who have wintered possess wisdom.” We are constantly attempting to postpone the arrival of winter in our hectic modern environment. We never dare to feel the full force of its biting, and we never dare to demonstrate how it ravages us. Sometimes a hard winter would be beneficial. We must stop thinking that these are stupid periods in our lives, that they are the result of a lack of courage or willpower. We must abandon our attempts to ignore or rid of them. They are genuine, and they have a request for us. We must learn to welcome winter into our homes.”
I haven't read May's book on wintering, and I believe it isn't written from a Christian perspective; but, I agree with the strong feeling expressed in the above phrase, that a good wintering can be beneficial to us. You've probably heard the adage that if you don't physically relax, your body will eventually force you to do so. Could this also be true spiritually? God's concept of Sabbath rest would suggest this, as we can see from the fact that the number of years the Israelites spent in exile was precisely proportional to the number of years they neglected to allow the earth to rest. (See Leviticus 26:34-35 for further information.)
So, I'd like to argue that after a particularly heavy harvest, we may need to choose to winter. Other times, however, tragedy unexpectedly ices the landscape of our spirits. There's no way to avoid it. The blizzard has arrived, and we can only cling to the barn's rope as we stumble blindly toward safety.
These may be some clues that your soul is in the spiritual season of winter:
- You've come to the end of a hectic season of job, ministry, or family life, and you're yearning for peace.
- You keep on with a task that used to make you happy but now makes you exhausted.
- You've suffered a huge loss (a loved one, a dream, a house, stability, health, etc.) and are in intense mourning.
- God has lately renovated your heart, and it is now settling in and being put to the test.
- Your prayers are lackluster, one-sided, and difficult to share publicly without sounding forced.
KEY SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FOR WINTER
If you sense you are in a spiritual winter or need to pick a season of calm and rest, you might find the following spiritual disciplines, or activities, useful for connecting with God:
- Sabbath. While this is a gift from God for all seasons, beginning or developing your Sabbath practice may be especially beneficial during your soul's winter. The Sabbath is a time to reflect on what the Lord has already given you and to be grateful for it. Winter tempts us to lament our losses, whereas Sabbath encourages us to rejoice in the riches that has already been given to us in Christ Jesus. On this day, in this season, manna may not be dropping from the sky, but believing our Father's goodness on Sabbath confronts the dread of scarcity and declares, “My God is more than enough.”
- Solitude. Acquire the ability to be alone. Long walks are recommended. Sit quietly for a while. Make plans to meet Jesus for coffee and leave your phone at home. Begin a solitary pastime like woodworking, candlemaking, snowshoeing, or beekeeping. Get away for a day, or maybe a week, by yourself. As I've previously stated, be present to God in the silence in order to be present to others in the noise.
- Prayers without words. To feel loved, you only need to say a few words to the people closest to you. Winter is a season when God appears to be silent, but rest assured, He is still close by. This is a truth you'll discover more fully in the stillness of winter than in the frenzy of summer fun. Your words may not impress him, but He enjoys your trusting stare. Allow your imagination to transport you to the throne room, a favorite Bible narrative, or Jesus' lap as a child.
- Simplicity. You may have accumulated more stuffactual stuff, scheduled stuff, emotional stuffthan you truly need from previous seasons. Winter is an excellent time for pruning, leanness, and simplicity. Take stock of your possessions and let go of anything that won't help you improve. White space, like freshly fallen snow, is a thing of beauty.
- Confession. Accepting the trimming of winter may necessitate the offering of forgiveness in order to eliminate resentment. To purge pride, apologies are required. Sin must be confessed before it can be thrown out with the trash. This should be done on purpose. Pronounce it aloud. Make it a habit to do it more than once.
BOOKS FOR WINTER
- Ruth Haley Barton encourages you to meet God completely and totally outside the demands and commotion of daily life in Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence. It's an invitation to embark on a journey of spiritual transformationone that will take you to freedom and authenticity, allowing you to become the person God intended for you to be.
What is a season in your life?
One of my professors also taught me the value of recognizing the seasons of life (as mentioned by Jim Rohn in his book and famous lectures) and how to use them wisely, as described in the above anecdote. Because, much like nature, we go through distinct seasons in our lives. Winter, spring, summer, and fall are the four seasons that can be compared to life.
People were more connected to the seasons in the past when there was no electricity. Their lifestyles, diets, and routines were modified to the seasons, which they welcomed. In the winter, a farmer, for example, might rest and polish his tools. He'll prepare the land and plant the seeds in the spring. He will nourish his crop and defend it from pests such as insects, weeds, and animals during the summer. He'll reap the benefits of his hard work and patience in the fall when he harvests the crop. Then he'd do it all over again.
We have lost contact with the seasons in the modern world as a result of all of the technological advancements. Throughout the year, we maintain the same routine, diet, and lifestyle. This causes us to lose sight of the natural cycles of life, resulting in an imbalance in our existence.
- Summer brings signals of growth, the need for protection, and a plethora of distractions.
What does spring represent spiritually?
Cornerstone Southern Baptist Church, 802 W. 22nd St.: The Rev. Gary O'Flannagan, pastor:
Many religions commemorate the arrival of spring, but what they actually commemorate is nature.
When we experience the Easter season on a personal level, however, the natural celebration falls short. Easter is celebrated during the spring season in nature, and it is all about fresh life, just like spring.
Spring is a symbol of new life, just as winter is a symbol of death. Trees, plants, and fields are turning green, and fresh life is sprouting from the ground across Kansas. All year long, the Christian faith is about fresh life, but especially at Easter, when something died but now lives again. It's not something, but Someone in Christianity.
“…if someone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” reads 2 Corinthians 5:5:17 in the New Testament. NIV.
Jesus Christ is the source of our new life, our new creation. Because Christ arose from the ground, our fresh life comes from knowing Him, belonging to Him, and worshipping Him, not from nature or nature's things, much as plant life re-emerges from the earth in the spring and can't be kept back.
Candy, decorated eggs, and beautiful tiny bunny bunnies aren't the only things associated with Easter. Easter is a time to celebrate the miracle of new life that is possible because Jesus Christ rose from the dead and gives new life to everyone who believes in Him. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it to the full,” Jesus remarked in John 10:10. Celebrate Easter this spring because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. Nature will die again and again, but Jesus Christ brings eternal and abundant life; rejoice in Him.
Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway, Rev. Kent Winters-Hazelton:
As I walked my dog this morning in the crisp morning air, I noticed children dressed in shorts and shirt sleeves waiting for their school bus, as well as their parents heading to work in similar attire: spring has here. Spring brings with it a delightful sense of rebirth.
Spring is the season of rebirth. Its myriad pictures and symbols tell of our rebirth, of our awakening from winter's slumber with renewed vigor and excitement for what lies ahead. The first sprouts of color breaking up from the dormant winter soil in our gardens, the music of the birds in the park, and the grass already in need of mowing. As we anticipate the first pitch of the season, one of the visions of spring that lingers with me every year is of everyone having a clean slate, every team being equal, and no mistakes marring the season's conclusion.
Life, with all of its difficulties, is rarely easy. We need those things that elevate our spirits in the face of those discouragements and difficulties: families and friends, the greening of our neighborhoods, the hunt for the Final Four (a perhaps more territorial analogy), and the burst of new life that arrives each spring.
The language and invitation of optimism, growth, and new beginnings is one of the great strengths and charms of every religious tradition. This is especially true in the Christian tradition, which has as its core narrative Christ's resurrection from the dead. Even the term Easter is derived from “eastre,” a spring festival that predates the Church.
“Spring displays what God can achieve with a drab and unclean planet,” writer Virgil Kraft famously said. “I've got to get out to my garden,” my wife stated as I was leaving for work.