By: Lori Thompson
Ecc. 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
God is so orderly that He divided the year into four quarters, and we know those times as seasons—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. God promised us seasons to indicate the order of nature, but did you know that every person goes through four seasons as well? Seasons affect every aspect of our lives. The seasons change in our lives, depending greatly on where we are spiritually. There is a way to chart the seasons in nature and there is a way to chart our own spiritually season. There is a natural cycle calendar year. You will be disappointed if you try to parallel your spiritual life with your natural seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Lets look at Winter since that is the season that we are in now. We will look at in the natural and the spiritual.
Winter—the season with the shortest days and the lowest average temps. It has the coldest weather with snow and ice. Winter is a time of inclement where people regard themselves as vulnerable. It’s the season of we associate short days and limited sunlight, and a time when you might feel uncomfortable. Any farmer will tell you, it’s not a time to plant but a time to begin planning what to plant during the next season.
Spiritual Winter—Our spiritual winter is a time of darkness. The tress are barren and the flowers have withered and died. Spiritual Winter is the most uncomfortable time for many Christians. We may feel that God has deserted us during our spiritual winter but this is time to curl up in the God’s lap for warmth and intimacy. It’s there He will give you directions for planting new crops in the spring, the next season. It is also the time to exist on what has been stored from previous harvest seasons. Winter is the time for evaluation, planning and preparation. It is time to shovel sow and ice from the driveway of your mind. It’s a time to navigate the icy roads as you go about your business and a time when praise should be like an automatic habit—for it will keep your heart warm before a Holy God.
During Spiritual Winter it is normal to feel
like God is not hearing our prayers or speaking to us. We may feel like we are having a “wilderness” experience. Our inclination is to pray harder, or more—anything but remain...but we must remain in the season of rest. We may feel like our ministry is unfruitful and assume it is dying but during winter there is no fruit bearing. It is a time of spiritual rest. In winter, reflect on God and His faithfulness to you. Maintain an attitude of reverence before God. Winter is the time to PLAN for the upcoming season...but for now...REST!