While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. ~ Genesis 8:22
It’s fall, friends. My absolute favorite season has returned.
And while I enjoy the abundance of pumpkin spice flavored everything, that’s not why I love fall. I love fall because it finally starts to cool off. I live in South Carolina, so the summer months are hot and extremely humid. As summer fades, the days gradually become shorter and the air becomes cooler and refreshingly crisp. These first signs of fall are always met with glee from this Carolina girl.
In my 28 years, each season has never failed to give way to the next one. It occurred to me that nature’s rhythms, including the changing of the seasons, can point us to the ways of our Creator.
Nothing is happening
I don’t know about you, but it can often seem like God’s work in my life is stagnant. I might be stuck in a season I have no desire to be in. Nothing new is happening. Nothing exciting is on the horizon (at least that I can see) and it becomes easy to question God’s faithfulness and attentiveness.
Times like these can be especially difficult if those around us seem to be blissfully moving to the season that we desire to be in. We can start to wonder if we are the one person on earth who has escaped God’s notice. But just because circumstances make that feel true, doesn’t mean it is.
I mentioned earlier how I always look forward to the first signs of fall. But in the heat of summer, those changes seem impossibly distant. Isn’t that the case in our personal “seasons” as well? We might be ready for a significant other, a much-needed job, or any other change of circumstance. We might even notice small progressions that hint at a possible season change, but circumstances haven’t fully shifted to that next step.
This is so frustrating. However, God understands. And we can take heart that God’s people have always struggled with His timing:
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end — it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay. ~ Habakkuk 2:3
I suggest reading it on your own to get the context, but this passage is the beginning of God’s response to Habakkuk’s second complaint about God’s timing in executing justice for his people. Habakkuk 2:3 comforts me because it shows that it’s not abnormal to struggle with lingering seasons. I don’t think that God frowns on us when we express to Him that we are struggling; instead, He offers words of encouragement and tells us to wait.
Though it linger…though things are not progressing as fast as we would like…though we wonder how many more weddings or baby showers we may have to endure…we are to wait for God’s provision and blessing that will certainly come.
Another comfort I draw from Habakkuk 2:3 is God’s promise that ultimately the next season will “certainly come.” When it’s the middle of summer, I start to wonder if I will ever be able to enjoy walking outside again. The heat plays tricks on my mind, and it seems that I will never again feel a cool, gentle breeze.
Seasons don’t last forever, no matter how much the difficulties we face suggest otherwise. Whether a season ends with receiving what we want, only God truly knows and determines, but He will be faithful to move us along and provide us with the tools we need to remain in life-giving relationship with Him.
And eventually, whether in this life or the next, the difficulties that define our current season will have to end. Remember the passage from Genesis where God promises a continuation in times and seasons after the flood? If He promises a continuation in nature, how much more will He continue to bring progress and change in the lives of His children?
God is faithful. He will continue a good work in us and complete it. So let’s wait on Him and trust Him to get us from one season to the next.