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Early Spring?

It feels like Spring! At least it did earlier this week. In the 50’s, sun shining, Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow was missing. Things were looking good, until the calendar and the changing weather reminded us we are still in the month of February! Oh, and one more reminder…we live in Maine. Having lived in a variety of places around the United States, I have noticed that people are the same—everyone expresses their definite preferences about the weather. It is either too hot or too cold, too cloudy or too sunny, too wet or too dry. Rarely has anyone said, “Today is just right!”

The seasons and the changing weather are important, though. Without them, we would be in more trouble than many realize. For example, if there were no winter, wheat and other food staples would not exist. Deadly pathogens and insect carriers would thrive. Melting ice caps, rising seas, and wildfires would increase. Even those places on the earth that have the perceived perfect weather all year round have their challenges.

A similar dynamic exists in the experiences of life. We aim for happiness and want circumstances to be just right all the time. We want to have the perfect house, big bank accounts, relationships with no conflict, and definitely no difficult times infiltrate our peaceful existence. But there would be problems if life were always a utopia. There would be no challenges to show us what we are capable of when we tap into God’s power. No trials to shape character and to teach us how to rely on Someone greater than ourselves. No vision of something better to drive us forward. Ultimately, there would be no recognizing our need of a Savior.

The changing seasons of life are part of what God uses to shape us into who He wants us to be. Trials form character and help us appreciate the good times even more. They protect us from the deadly disease of apathy and drive us deeper into caring about others. They propel us toward the Savior who is much more than we ever can be on our own.

King Solomon of old went through his varying seasons. He seemed to have started out as a good king, wisely following God and His ways. He changed, though, and this one who was known for his wisdom made some seriously unwise choices. Evidence exists to show that he may have turned back to God as he neared the end of his life. Here is one observation he made:

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Life comes in seasons. In what season are you right now? Is it a good one, or is it challenging? Maybe it is somewhere between the two. Whatever season you are experiencing, seek God in the midst of it and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through you. No, He may not be the Author of all you are going through, but He can use it.

Sovereign God, You know all things and are familiar with the seasons of my life.

If I had my way, the seasons would always be pleasant,

but I know that is not how this life works.

Help me to find You in each season

and to allow You to do in and through me what You want.

When I do not see what You are doing,

give me the grace to trust You.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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