Seasons. There is a certain kind of joy when the birds begin to sing again as the gentle breeze of Spring begins to wash away the bitter cold of Winter. However, if you were to ask me my favorite season of the year, I’d probably lean towards Autumn. There is something quite soothing about the word Autumn.
The blazing and unrelenting heat of Summer begins to wane in Autumn. The leaves start to turn, and they crackle under your feet as you walk. There’s a crispness in the air as the sun sets, and the illuminating full moon rises.
The Unexpected Seasons
I’m sure everyone has their favorite seasons that they prefer over the others. However, these are not the seasons I want to discuss with you today. I want to focus on the seasons that everyone one of us will face in our lifetime; the Seasons of Change. Change is something that I work to avoid in my life.
Once I find a good location, I remain in the same apartment for years. I like to have the same barber every time I go for a haircut. I’ve gone to the same stores for the past several years. By the grace of God, I have been able to have the same caregiver for almost nine years. I am in the fifth year at the same Bible-teaching church, and unless God says different, I have no desire to leave.
Financial Stress. An Unexpected Move or Firing. Unrelenting Grief. Pain and Suffering. Health Issue or Crisis. These are just a few of the challenging and unexpected seasons in life that can throw us for a loop or sometimes and turn our world upside down! Do you think that Joseph had any idea how his day would end up on the day he went to check on his brothers per his father’s request? He was thrown into a pit and then sold into slavery by his flesh and blood! Betrayal. That is another unexpected and yet excruciating season that can change things dramatically.
Earlier this year, I had an “abnormal heart episode,” according to my cardiologist. My sister left our church to rush me to the ER that day. I underwent several batteries of tests for a couple of days. The tests were exhausting and took up most of each day. However, my follow-up is scheduled for next month. Which would be six months since the initial heart episode took place. If they had found or seen something in the tests, I assume that I would have heard from the doctor by now?
That being the case, I have made several changes over the past few months to live an even healthier lifestyle than I thought I was since the stroke. I now use extra virgin olive oil in my cooking and have tried to purchase wild salmon whenever possible. Also, the combination of intermittent fasting and trying to walk at least a mile every day has resulted in a loss of nearly thirty pounds. My blood pressure continues to improve. I’m sleeping better at night, and overall, I feel better. I’m even looking forward to my doctor visits in the coming weeks.
Changing Seasons are Inevitable
Just like in nature, seasons of change are inevitable. Unlike the weather, we may never receive a warning that a season of change is about to crash into our lives like a tsunami! In light of this fact, I have five important things you can do to help when facing a season of change.
Try not to blame. Whether you want to blame someone else or even blame yourself; do your best to avoid this. Satan uses condemnation as a weapon to get us feeling upset, defeated, or even angry. We have to remember who we are in Christ
Look to God for a solution. Instead of beating yourself up or also attacking someone else, ask God for peace and guidance. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything with prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7. It is always beneficial to focus on what God CAN do instead of what we cannot do in our strength.
Take a deep breath. When things do not go as planned, we tend to become anxious, fearful, and frustrated about the situation. Take a deep breath and let God speak to you. Sometimes we can be too quick to act or react to stressful situations or circumstances. Just be still and trust God. Resting in Jesus confirms that you are putting all your faith in Him despite the unforeseen circumstances.
God is in Control
Ask Yourself; what is God teaching me from this situation? Maybe this season of change is due to bad planning, timing, or perhaps it was beyond your control. After your breathing and blood pressure have returned to normal, ask God what He is trying to teach you from this experience. As for myself, I’m still learning to live with patience and humility. I am a work in progress!
Thank God for being with you through the seasons of change. Your state of mind is transformed when you allow God to provide for and protect you during these moments. Whether it was from natural causes or a situation you created, be thankful that God is there to help guide you through the unexpected seasons of change. (He wants you to ask Him for help!) As believers in Christ, we can know in our hearts that He will work everything out for our good in line with His will. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those that love God; to those who are called according to His purpose. –Romans 8:28
It’s my prayer that you understand that as much as we like a “routine” or what is “familiar”; difficult seasons of change will occur in our lives. Change allows us to grow, and it transforms us. Though change can be traumatic, and sometimes even painful, it can also be gratifying and rewarding as we learn to trust God, knowing that He is molding us to become more like Christ.
As we trust God during these times, our faith is rejuvenated, and we can experience the indescribable peace only He offers to us. So be encouraged during these circumstances because you are growing! ” He will be like a tree firmly planted by the streams of water, which yields fruit in its season and it’s leaf does not wither and in whatever he does he prospers.” -Psalm 1:3
Moment of Reflection
What do you do when the unexpected takes place?
How do you handle change?
Is your heart prepared for a change in seasons?
Be well brothers and sisters. Changes will take place but only for a season. God is never surprised by what is taking place in your life. Lean into Him, trust the Savior who died for you. He will never leave you alone.
Horace Williams, Jr.