“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
Have you ever sensed a change of seasons? I do not mean like moving from Summer to Fall. I mean a change of season in your life. When life seasons happen to coincide with nature’s seasons, it seems to have a magnifying effect. It intensifies the savoring of the change. One Fall I was experiencing a change of life season. The leaves were dropping. The temperatures were dipping. The produce was changing. More pumpkins, squash and gourds. It was becoming darker earlier and later. I even realized that every Fall before this one there had been a sense of grieving for me. I would grieve the loss of Summer. Its long days. The warmth of the sun on my skin. The ease of throwing on tennis shoes and taking a long walk. Open windows with night sounds and a gentle breeze. That was all going away.
I felt the change of season coming for myself. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I had a weird combination of anticipation, dread, and excitement. It felt like it was going to be a time of transformation. Growth. Was there going to be pain with growth? How long would it hurt? Was I ready?
After pondering all those feelings, I made a choice. A choice to be thankful. A choice to embrace the change even though I had no idea what it was. The growth, the transformation; even if it hurt. I landed in a place of gratitude. I sensed a new alertness was going to be required. It was going to be a time of listening carefully to God’s voice and following it. A time to keep up and pay attention to His requests. A time to be still when called for. A time to take stock of all He had done, like Moses and Joshua. A time to give thanks and embrace what is to come without knowing.
As ominous as this all sounds, you’ll laugh. I couldn’t help but go to a StarTrek reference in my mind! “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Thankfully, that’s not true! The Bible is full of stories of many people who boldly went where God wanted them to go. Some were more graceful than others. Some arrived quickly, while others ended up taking the long way. But they ended up where God intended: Moses, Abraham, Noah, Jonah, Jacob, Joseph, David, Elijah, Gideon, Esther, Ruth, Rahab, the twelve disciples, Zaccheus, Jesus. We have a rich history to refer to whenever it gets tough. And we have each other to encourage and support. Not to go through change on behalf of each other; that is simply God’s work in each one of us. We each have our own path. But we can pray. We can encourage. We can give and receive grace and mercy to one another. We can love. It makes the season of change and growth much sweeter. More tender. Like Jesus.
Father God, as I go through change I pray I do not lose sight of being tender and gentle with others. While I may need it, others do too. I pray that You will help me give grace and mercy to others even when I feel like I need it myself.