On MANY occasions over the last few months...I have sat down to pray and the Lord has brought to me the word "Seasons". It seems that is a consistent theme with many people that I speak to as well. God always uses nature to speak to me. There is SO MUCH wisdom in the way He has created and ordered nature. We can learn a lot from it.
I ran across the story below this week. I have no clue who wrote it or where it's from...but its a a true depiction of life. I'd like to share this story...and then briefly share a couple of thoughts! Here is it:
"There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no--it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but ONLY one season in the tree's life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are--and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life--can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later."
I LOVE that last paragraph. "If you give up when it's winter...you will miss the promise of spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfillment of your fall." Obviously, Galatians 6:9 applies here..."Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap what you sow if you do not faint." - but I would like to look at this from a different angle.
As a Christian...sometimes I feel the pressure to always be in a Spring or Summer state in my life. Always in bloom or always full of fruit for others to reap. I have felt guilty at times for those fall or winter seasons when certain things in my life may be falling off and dying preparing me for another season.
You see...In the winter the trees go into a dormant like stage with no growth or very little, that is seen, in order to store the energy for the start of spring and growth of new leaves and seeds.
You know when God is stirring new things inside you....it is to absorb and process what He is speaking to your heart. Sometimes then all the productive fruit and blooms that everyone usually sees...begin to disappear. It appears that nothing is going on and others are not SEEING what is going on inside...but does it mean that you're stagnant...and nothing is going on? Does it mean that you've given up and not pressing on? Of course not!! Its just a season. You are poised and positioned to focus on the stirring of the deep waters inside. God is preparing you for NEW GROWTH and a NEW SPRING with NEW FRUIT!!
I'm not sure if anyone is with me and identifies...but I was encouraged at what God was speaking to my heart. He has set me free from the thought that I ALWAYS have to be producing visible fruit and beautiful blooms. But I do have to be aware that scripture does say:
“be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine…2 Tim. 4:2-4
In other words...don't WAIT for the "right season" to do the works of the Lord. Be ready to move when you hear Him speak! Don't say..."Oh...I'm in a fall/winter season (a season of non production)" - Be sensitive and open and don't use the season in your life to be lazy in your walk with the Lord. Even though there is little or no growth in a tree during winter...that tree is still storing up energy for the start of spring. It is still alive and working toward its next season. The winter is to prepare and sometimes during that season of preparing...God has us do things to help us grow and prepare!! So...keep that word in mind as you meditate on the winter season you may be in.
But I exhort you...take heart...even though those beautiful blooms and valuable fruit isn't so evident in your life right now...they will be!! You are growing internally and being prepared for an amazing season of beauty and production.
This is something I am learning in my life...another pearl of purpose God so faithfully teaches me. Thank you Lord for life lessons!! They are so beautiful and priceless to me!!