Remember the days when being “color analyzed” was all the rage? It didn’t matter if it happened at a home party, a department store counter, or a fashion expo – as long as you had your color swatches with you, and knew what shades of eye shadow, blush & lipstick presented the best you, you were ready to step out and rock it! Oh, and the best part was being able to toss out that question understood by every real woman in your circles – What season are you?
I actually remember praying before my first color analysis that I would not be deemed “a winter” (my prayers were for such simple things in those days). I hated the color red for some reason. It just seemed so basic and plain – my sister who was far more conservative than me always wore red or navy … nope, I wanted to make a splash, not some quiet unassuming entrance into a room – me & my season wanted to be noticed! Praise God, I was an autumn!
As I thought about the next link on the bracelet – Health, and what God may be wanting me to share with you about it, the topic just felt too big. I mean, seriously, what are we talking here … physical health (ah, yah, that’s important to give attention to), mental health, emotional health (now there’s a cavern to get lost in), spiritual health (nah, always the risk that I’ll come off preachy), so what then? There was a momentary temptation to reverse direction and go the other way around the bracelet .. I mean who says I had to go right? There’s that catchy song “To the left, to the left …” and everybody knows in a card game or board game, play always goes to the person on your left. But if you take a look at the bracelet, you’ll notice, I’m sure, what I saw as a clear sign that I need to tackle Health – there is a circular piece of metal with a squiggly line that inexplicably links Serenity to Health. Take a look!
So what about Health, and what does it have to do with seasons? Ecclesiastes 3:1 has always resonated with me “there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens”. If you live in the Northeast as I do, you know we are so ready to be done with winter! We are anxious for signs of spring, even as snow blanketed the streets and grass again last night while we slept, and a random snowfall with big cotton ball size flakes surprised us mid-day to taunt the still wet pavement that would not engage & allow the flakes to settle there. But did you know that, despite all appearances, even in the harshest winters, the trees don’t stop growing? Beneath the bark, their sap is silently moving to fortify the tree for the coming months. Life is still in process, but in different ways than during the rest of the year.
“Spring is for beginnings. There’s a freshness, hope and vibrancy to it. So in the springtimes of our life, we have the opportunity to see God initiate new things in us. Summer is a time for labor and growth. Fall is for harvest. Winter is for withdrawal from activity, rest, and even death of what has come to the end of its time. To be fully healthy, our lives require each one of these seasons at its due time. The key is to recognize what season we’re in and then embrace it to the full.
We all know that in nature, sometimes winter seems like it drags on forever. Some summers can seem extremely brief. Seasons vary from year to year. Sometimes God chooses to prolong them to fully accomplish His work. Sometimes so much needs to die in us before we can embrace spring that we need an unusually long winter. We have no idea how brief or long each season will be this time, but we can also learn to embrace and find the good in each season as it comes, instead of being impatient to move on to the next one that we think will be better.” -Richard Blackaby
This has been a tough winter – not for me particularly, but for friends crushed beneath an all-consuming heartache of loss, unanswered questions, unrelenting pain, and unseen possibilities of hope, believing even the coming spring will be inadequate to mend their broken spirits. This is the perfect season to ask God to take this cup, as Jesus did, but also to remember that in order to accomplish His greater purpose, He may need you to linger in this season of life, to discover what He wants you to learn, to fortify your spiritual health for the coming season where all things are made new in Christ. Cry out to Him, confess your need for Him, believe this season of life is charged with divine purpose for you, sing along to Plumb’s song and let the tears wash over you like the waters of baptism.
What about you … what season of life are you in?