By Pastor Anthony L. Scott
Seasons are defined as a period marked by particular weather patterns resulting from the earth’s changing position with regard to the sun or to be more precise the tilting of the earth’s axis. The consequences being we experience changing temperatures and either more or less daylight. These changes are directly tied to natural events and for some may even cause mood adjustments.
However, there are other seasons of our lives unrelated to natural events or the environment. Millicent Hunter in her book, “Don’t Die in the Winter”, defines these as spiritual seasons highlighted by spiritual weather conditions. Another author, Jessica K. Ingram connects seasons with our life purposes. We have seasons of great joy as well as seasons of distress. Ingram suggests that during our intervals of distress, when God seems far away, we should ask God what is the purpose of this time in my life? The question is not if you will have a season but how will you handle that juncture in your life.
During natural seasons we adjust. In winter we put on, in summer we take off, and in the fall and spring we are likely to do both in the same day. Essentially we make adjustments based on what is presented to us. So again, how do you adjust to the spiritual seasons in your life?
Peter was one of the original followers of Jesus and who once wrote, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15) Be ready to give a cause, explanation, or a justification for why you are able to look up and trust God while in a period marked by a complete loss or absence of hope. Authentic hope for the Christian is tied to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. God sent His son to give us hope.
I like these words by Emily Dickinson, “Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all.” In essence, we have to be able to locate hope in the process of despair. Using Dickinson’s reference, in order to sing the tune without words that never stops, we must accept what God has done and understand that His grace is new every morning. Know that God is preparing us for Him and Jesus’ love gets us through the lowest points in life. This season of your life has a purpose. It is designed so that we become more dependent upon Him. Our challenge is to listen for those times when God’s reality shows up in our daily life. God’s realm breaking through our mundane existence and whispering promises of continuance when all around us says give up. Your reason for hope in a season of despair is in the one in whom all hope resides, Jesus Christ!