Times and Seasons

Originally published Thursday, 04 December 2014.

If I want to know what season it is, I just have to look out my window at the Oak tree in my front garden. This Oak tree embraces the seasons with unashamed boldness. In Autumn it sheds leaves with such ferocity that neighbours down the street are also sweeping up the leaves that have made their way to their gardens. We learned pretty quickly that for the volume of leaves a leaf blower machine was needed. In winter the tree is bare and skeleton looking. In summer it's full with rich dark leaves and acorns.

The Oak tree doesn't suffer from uncertainty as to what season it is in. It doesnt try to grow leaves in winter or shed it's leaves in summer. The tree follows the seasons and commits 100% to each and everyone of them. The number of leaves on the ground in Autumn and the sheer volume of acorns in Summer is testament to this.

Our lives have seasons too. We all have seasons of summer and seasons of winter. Times when it doesn't look like much outwardly is advancing in our lives, but underground the roots are going deep. Times when we feel like we're reaping a lot of fruit.

The important thing for us to learn is that we need to embrace the season we are in. It is how we sustain life. It is important not to look at the seasons others are in and to try and match them. I don't think my Oak Tree suffers from a crisis of confidence when the evergreen keeps its leaves throughout winter.

At face value, I'm mum of 3 boys 6,5, and 2. I'm smack-bang in the middle of those early childhood years. I may turn up to church late with a bag that's filled with everything I need for "just in case situations". I can end up missing church as I stay home to look after a sick one. My days are filled with driving children to swimming and piano lessons and soccer training....but in this season God still has plans for and uses me!

God continuously reminds me, that there is no season in my life where He can't use me for His glory. In fact, it’s when we realise the power of being comfortable in the season that we are in, than it’s in that place that I believe we are most effective in our walk with Him.

The timing of encounters in supermarkets, outside the classroom or beside the school pool where I’ve been able to encourage others.

It can be the soccer season, the preschool years, the study years, the travel years or the career years. Whatever the case...He reminded me that no season is unimportant, so keep your ears, eyes, heart and mind open.

I don’t know what season of life you are in but remember it is important. Do not be discouraged or compare yourself with anyone else; simply be obedient to what God has called you to in this moment on this day in this particular season. The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but they still have to mow the lawns! Don’t fight the season! Understand that there is gold in every single stage of life. Don’t count yourself unworthy, or unable, not ready, He can and will use you, if we'll only let Him...

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Eccelsaistes 3:1)