It’s November, one of my favorite months of the year. I don’t know if you love all-things home
like I do, but I have my autumn décor and colors out, and I’m about to slash open some
pumpkins for pumpkin pie. The leaves have mostly fallen, and with the crunch of them under
foot, I’m reminded of the fresh change the rhythm of seasons brings about. And this is to say
nothing about the uses of butternut squash, apples, and things like cinnamon, cloves, and
ginger in all manner of recipes.
I wonder if you’re in a happy season or a sorrowful one, if you’re looking forward to the holiday
season or approaching it with dread, if spring and summer are your months to shine, while fall
and winter feel like one long crawl under the covers? No matter how the current season finds
you, it feels like a good time to talk about three benefits to seasons that I hope will be
1. Seasons bring newness, even when they’re hard. Can we all agree we’re happy that it’s
not 95 degrees with 100,000% humidity every day of the year? (unless you live in the
Amazon jungle, one of my favorite places…whoops!) Reflected in God’s creation are the
rhythms of life that bring forth both blossoms and dying leaves, fallow ground and
freshly plowed soil, dormant seeds and prolific crops, freshly fallen snow and
shimmering summer’s dew.
The changing of seasons reminds us that God is always doing a new thing, even when
we find ourselves in a long season of what feels like interminable death to self, pruning,
and cutting back of comforts. No season lasts forever. Let the good Master Gardener
(John 15:1-5) have His way with you. He will never waste a painful season.
2. Seasons make us grateful. Last year was a challenging year for me on many fronts. I had
work challenges I couldn’t resolve, despite throwing every cell of energy and thought
into fixing them. My house was being renovated, and though this does not qualify in the
least as “suffering,” I was displaced for much longer than I anticipated, and being
without my home was hard on my daily rhythms and sense of well-being. (If you’re
about to do a house project, add eight months and a zillion dollars to your current
expectations.) And I was dealing with the pain of a loved one.
God used that time to sanctify me (purify me and make me more like His Son, Jesus),
even though it was a difficult season. In fact, I would say it was precisely the difficulty
that God used to lovingly prune away my reliance on my own resources and abilities.
But it wasn’t just a taking away, it was an adding. I learned more gentleness, patience,
prayer, and more of resting in His presence with me. Now that I’m in a new season,
where many of the things I was facing have been resolved, I’m more grateful for a
peaceful and joyful season than I would have been.
3. God works in every season, but He doesn’t change with them. One of the things I’ve
been studying in seminary is God’s immutability, meaning His unchanging nature.
Though the literal seasons change, and the seasons we walk through continually give
way to the next, our God remains the same (Heb. 13:8). We can count on His
faithfulness, goodness, and presence to remain unshakable and steady.
I was recently on a panel at a Fresh Grounded Faith event with my friend Jennifer
Rothschild. Someone asked her what we’re to do when we don’t feel like God is near.
Jennifer pointed out the word “feel” and how important it is that we don’t base our
perception of His nearness on our feelings. She wasn’t dismissing our feelings or
diminishing their importance, rather she was turning our attention to God’s attributes
and nature—His love for us doesn’t change even when our seasons do.
So, just a word of encouragement however this November finds you. If you’re in a challenging
season, surrender to God’s work in your life. The pruning will only mean a greater harvest when
the spring showers come and the sun’s summer rays shine down. And if you’re in a season of
joy and tangible blessings, rejoice in your heavenly Father who gives good gifts to His children
**Kelly would also like to include this fun, fall ginger snap recipe for the holidays with the
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