I am so grateful to live in a part of the world that experiences the four distinct seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Autumn is my favorite because of the cooler temperatures and the gorgeous foliage.
Just as we experience the changing natural seasons, we are also subject to changing experiential seasons in our life with Christ.
It makes perfect sense to talk about the different seasons in a believer’s life because, throughout Scripture, God’s people are metaphorically described as His garden (Song 4:12, 15, 16; 5:1; 6:2; Isa. 58:11; Jer. 31:12), vineyard (Song 1:6; 8:11–12; Isa. 5:1–10; Matt. 20:1–8; 21:28–41)), or field (1 Cor. 3:6–9).
We can find great encouragement in identifying which season we are currently experiencing. There is just something about knowing that we are not the only ones who are going (or have gone) through especially difficult times.
We also experience seasons of great joy and celebration. One thing we can know for sure—no matter which season we are in, it will change. Life is not static.
Whether we are struggling through a cold and lifeless winter season or a hot and hectic summer season, we can find great hope in knowing that a warm, flourishing spring or a cool, abundant autumn harvest is just around the corner.
The changing seasons of our lives are not haphazard but ordained by our Beloved to accomplish His purposes in our lives: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:10 NKJV).
Regardless of what season we are in, our Beloved wants us to embrace Him, trusting that He will manifest the greatest possible harvest of His fruit in our lives in His perfect timing.
Before we look at the identifying characteristics of each season, I believe it is important to clarify what I mean by “growth.” Growth is not a change in our spiritual state. Our new heart is our new spirit united with Christ’s Spirit and is complete and unchangeable (Col. 2:10).
True growth in believers is measured by the degree to which their minds are renewed with what is already true of their new hearts and then manifested through their outward lives (Rom. 12:2). The apostle Peter exhorts believers to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).
Knowing which season we are in will not only encourage us to persevere through the difficulties of winter and summer but will enable us to not take for granted the joys of spring and fall.
Although we generally prefer one season to another, there are pros and cons within each that bring a nice overall balance to our lives:
- Winter: The winter season is cold, has fewer daylight hours, and is a time when many plants and trees are dormant. Although they may appear lifeless, their dormancy is actually a part of their growth cycle. On the downside, the experiential season of winter is characterized by very little sense of our Beloved’s love, presence, and activity in our lives (His left hand). Sometimes during this season, it seems as if He has taken a permanent vacation. The upside to this bleak and barren season is that it creates a hunger to experience our Beloved’s presence and will cause us to seek Him to meet our needs.
- Spring: The spring season is warmer, has more daylight hours, and is the time for planting new seeds because the ground temperature gets warm enough for germination. Everywhere we turn, we see the emergence of new life in the blooming flowers and the different shades of green in the tree branches, growing grass, leaves, and bushes. The experiential season of spring is characterized by a greater sense of our Beloved’s activity in our lives (His right hand). New seeds of truth are planted in our minds and watered and cultivated through intimacy with Him. This season holds within it great hope—hope that the planted seeds will eventually manifest an abundant harvest.
- Summer: The temperatures of summer can range from very warm to unbearably hot. Much attention is given to the growing plants through watering, pulling weeds, and keeping bugs and animals from destroying them. On the upside, the experiential season of summer symbolizes rapid growth, where we are so energized by what our Beloved has planted in our hearts and minds that we want to share it with everyone. On the downside, we can become overzealous and get too many irons in the fire. It is important to realize that just because we see a need, that doesn’t mean our Beloved is calling us to meet it. Awareness does not necessarily constitute action on our part. Take time to seek Him. He is an expert at weeding out unnecessary distractions that might keep us from expressing the fullness of His fruit in our lives.
- Autumn: In the part of the world where I live, the cooler temperatures of autumn bring refreshing relief from the dog days of summer. Up until the sixteenth century, harvest was the term used to refer to this season. Now, it is commonly referred to as fall because of the falling leaves of the deciduous trees. (I find it fascinating that their gorgeous hues signify their maturity.) The experiential season of autumn represents the abundant manifestation of the fruit of our Beloved’s Spirit being expressed through our lives. This is a joyous season because this fruit is not the result of our works—our trying hard to be more loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. It is the delectable, authentic fruit of shared intimacy with our Beloved.
I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-released debut book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, about the four different spiritual seasons a believer in Christ will likely experience throughout his or her life.
Now, dear reader, I’m wondering,
Which experiential season are you in right now?
What do you believe your Beloved is doing in your life through this strategic season?
If you prefer to interact with me through email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.