Seasons of Life – Part 3

This is part 3 of a 4-part series on the Seasons of Life.  You can read part 1 here.  And part 2 here.

Every year this happens to me. When summer time comes to a close it catches me off guard. And one morning I get the kids ready for school and don’t realize until we walk outside that it’s chilly……they have on shorts and t-shirts, but they need long pants and a jacket. And then I’m like a crazy woman trying to find “fall clothes” when I’m totally still in summer mode. When it’s so hot for so long, like SC summers are, you can’t imagine the season ever coming to an end. But it does. It can sneak up on you and then you’re  crazy and unprepared, trying to adjust.

Here’s the thing. When the season has changed in your life and you are still holding on to the last one, it will make you crazy. When you’re still hanging on to a season that has passed……your life will be crazy, hectic, and out of control. We’re like my 5 year old. We don’t look around and see the actual season we are in, but have a “But I Want To” attitude that makes us do unreasonable things. We see this in all kinds of areas.

  • Relationships – people hang onto unhealthy, unreasonable, insane relationships with unrealistic expectations.
  • Jobs – regardless of being miserable, we still hang on because of fear of making a change.
  • Physical Ability – not recognizing our limitations as they show up.
  • Time Management – thinking we can do it all.
  • Our Age…

Have you ever seen a woman trying too hard to hold onto her youth? It’s not pretty is it? Our minds say one thing, but our bodies and the mirror say another. There comes a time when we have to trade in our high heels for sensible shoes. We have to break down and buy reading glasses. We need to start using a hearing aid or cane. We may need to turn over our car keys. Sometimes we need to let go of the season that has passed and embrace the one that we are actually living in.

There was a season in my life when it was just me and my husband and I could be a part of all the things that he was involved in. Travel. Ministry. Projects. I cannot do that anymore. And when I try……………it makes me crazy. It makes life insane. It makes it too hectic. And it hurts me. It hurts my kids. And it hurts my husband. And it robs me of my joy, my calm, my peace. It throws my family into chaos. And I get to decide if I’m going to let that happen or not.  Me.  Am I going to live in the actual season I’m in or hold onto a season that has passed.

We need to recognize the real season we are in and stop trying to live in the past. When a season has ended, then it’s over.  We have to let it go because to do otherwise will hurt us and those we love most.

Solomon tells us that there is a time for every season. Are you holding onto a season whose time has passed?

We have a way of pretending that everything is ok all the time. It’s a ridiculous notion really, because things are not ok all the time. Life is messy. It can’t be wrapped up in an hour on Sunday morning with us wearing our non-sensible shoes. It’s complicated. It’s even ugly sometimes. What if we stopped spending our energy pretending everything was ok and used it to try to find healing and actually BE ok?

When life is a messy, what do we do with the emotions that keep us stirred up and anxious? How do we cope when the seasons change? Some seasons are so hard that survival is your primary goal. Hard seasons happen when:

  • People die
  • Kids grow up – we spend decades pouring everything into them and then they leave. On one hand I want them to leave one day, but on the other I’m offended that they would leave me!
  • People get sick – really sick
  • People walk out of our lives
  • Money…we could go on and on about money. Bills, broken appliances, cars that quit.
  • Or maybe there’s something you want more than anything but you can’t seem to get it………… be married. To have a baby. To follow a long-time dream.
  • Mental illness or depression…yourself or in your family.
  • And you grandparents raising your grandkids. Goodness.  I admire you so much. You are a hero. Truly. But when you raised your kids you thought you were done and had no idea you would have to start over. And you’re tired. I know you are…….because I’m tired…………..and I’m 20 years younger!

There are some seasons we never expect to be going through…….or going through a again.

So what do we do with the disappointment of living in a season that we don’t want to live in? If there’s a time for every season, then how do we live in that time or season that has been handed to us?

Ecclesiastes 3:11 gives us a couple answers

11Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

1 – God has made everything beautiful for its own time. If you are going through a season…..then God has allowed it. And He intends to make it beautiful. Regardless of how it came to you or why it happened and by whose hands, God allowed it and He will make it beautiful. He is able to redeem all things and bring beauty from ashes as He said in Isaiah 61.

You recall that when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers that God used that terrible injustice to bring about the salvation of the national of Israel from famine. And Joseph said to his brothers years later, “what you meant for evil, God meant for good.”

Satan may have come against you and people may have made choices outside of your control that have you seemingly trapped like Joseph in a season you would not have chosen…………God is bigger than any of that. We cannot see the whole scope of what He is doing, but trust God’s word that He is doing something. We know from the book of Romans that He intends to work your season out for your good and He will redeem it. His plans are for you and not against you. Don’t live like a victim.

The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:

8We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

Don’t live like a victim of your circumstances. They may be hard. But God is bigger and He will redeem it.

We will wrap this up tomorrow with one of the most valuable lessons Solomon can teach us.  I can’t wait to unpack verse 11 of Ecclesiastes chapter 3.  You are going to love what God’s word has to share with us.