There’s something about Labor Day weekend that has always felt like the switch in seasons for me. Kind of like how once we have Easter, I’m all about flip flops and summer clothing even though it might still be snowing outside. Once Labor Day hits, we move into fall – that means football games, pumpkin patches, apple cider, and my favorite part - the beauty that happens outside when the season changes to fall.
I grew up in New York, about an hour outside of Manhattan. It wasn’t the same as living in the heart of NYC, but it was urban enough that I don’t really remember a visual reminder that the seasons were changing. When we moved to Ohio when I was a teenager, one of the things I loved most was how much you could tell that a season was changing not just by the temperature but by how things looked outside.
I’ve noticed, and I’m guessing you have too, our spiritual lives happen in seasons as well. There are seasons of joy and fruitfulness when we experience unexpected blessings from God, and it’s often during those seasons when we are most able to be a blessing to others. And we can feel the moment when that season begins. Everyone seems wonderful, you’re always smiling, and things start falling into place. It’s usually pretty easy during seasons like that to praise God for all the good things happening around us. For me, fall tends to be that season.
But don’t get too used to fall, especially in Kentucky, because before we know it we’ll be in the middle of winter complaining that we’re ready for summer. As quickly as fall arrives, or that joyful season in your life comes, we at times will enter a season that is dry, cold and isolating. It’s on those days when we sometimes feel like nothing goes our way – we wake up late, spill coffee, there’s crazy traffic everywhere, you forget your lunch, lock your keys in the car, the list goes on and on, right? And then there’s the other side of true battles in life – trouble in relationships, financial burdens, problems at work, illness – it’s just easier to hibernate and stay away from everything.
So when the weather is beautiful outside, or the season of life you’re in is one of joy – celebrate that! Use it as a reason to love more extravagantly and bless others. Use it as a time to work on your relationship with Christ – a spiritual renewal, so that when harder times do come your way, you’re ready to fight through them.
The beauty in how God designed the four seasons is that they all work together to bring life and growth. I’m sure that your family, like mine, has traditions or things you always do at this time of year. My hope and prayer for you is that this season will lead you to the cross. It’s a time of year when we reap a harvest. The more time we spend with Him during the harder times, the more fruit we will produce in the good times.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” - Hebrews 13:8