March blasted us into Spring. Trees popped with blooms and flowers came sprinting out of the ground. Heat swept across us like a late May day and we were surprised, but happy. People were out in shorts, convertible tops were laid back to allow hair to blow in the wind, lawn furniture sprouted across lawns, and smoke rose in the air as grills smoked signaled the new season of outdoor cooking.
Then came April. It reminded us that it was not summer yet and the chill sent us back inside and fireplaces blazed again on cool evenings. But the hope did not leave. The trees continued their blooming, but more slowly, and the flowers kept burgeoning with their colors, but more cautiously.
Seasons. The transitions are interesting and sometimes violent. The clashes of warm and cold fronts produced deadly tornadoes. One day cold, next day warm, the violence left people homeless and in a few cases grieving for loved ones.
Our lives have seasons too. I always want peace. I like knowing where I am going. I like a game plan. I like order, stability, structures you can count on. But life offers seasons. I have found when God is changing the seasons of our life, it can get violent. We want to run for the storm shelter, close the door, and weather it out. Sometimes you have to face the storm and you cannot hide.
I remember one day in Cook’s Forest, PA. We had driven from Ohio to the Forest for a meeting. I was going to minister. The trip had included driving through thunderstorms and high winds. We had gotten to the other side of the front by the time we arrived; so it was coming at us again. As we stood in the yard of the home where the meeting was to be, a funnel cloud appeared and was bearing down on the property. We all stood together, stretched out our hands, and commanded it to depart and not harm the house or property. It immediately turned north and went around the property. There was no damage. We faced the storm, there was no time for running.
Through life, I have had to face some storms head on. I was recollecting the number of times I have had to face hard reality and stand. It is never easy. It is always dangerous and I have found, always painful. However, the long term of the matter brings peace and often, after some time, you see what God was doing. But almost always in the midst of the storm, I had little or no idea.
Cathy and I had the pleasure of attending a prophetic meeting a couple of weeks ago. The apostle/prophet who was ministering called us out and prophesied to us concerning our situation over the last number of months. He related some very accurate words even to the exact number of months the storm had been raging. The good thing was there was a new season breaking forth. The word was encouraging beyond our imaginations.
The new season is here. When I left the meeting, I could truly sense the breeze of the new season. I felt like the violence of the transition was giving way to the calm breezes of summer. Instead of the violent winds, it was changing to the gentle wafting of refreshing breezes. The kind of breeze that makes you happy to be alive. The kind that carries the scents of summer that renew the soul and brighten the spirit.
The new season allows growth to take place again. It offers productivity and fruitfulness. Along with the new season, the prophetic word said there would be new strategies and new friends. There would be new anointing.
One of the things this new season has brought is the joy of preaching the word. There is a fresh breath of God on the teaching and preaching. I am energized by it. I feel in this new season that I am back to my calling more fully than it has been for a while.
New seasons bring surprises. I have had questions that I have been asking God and now is the time to see how He answers them. There is an air of expectation which has been exhilarating. So, I get to watch as God puts everything together and opens new doors.
Seasons come and go. The analogy can work for many different situations, but I know that for us, it is like Spring moving to Summer. I thoroughly enjoy watching my garden bloom through the summer. There are so many varieties that each week and each month the garden takes on a new look. Life offers all these various facets for us to enjoy. The seasons, the storms, the bursting of life and color, all are a part of living.
Rest has to be taken in knowing the Hand of God is working for us. As one said, “Fearing God is the beginning of Wisdom, and not fearing God is the beginning of the fear of everything.”