Sensing the Presence of God in the Seasons of Life
How would you describe the season of life that you are currently in? If asked that question, some might describe their respective season as a function of their age, i.e., young adulthood, middle-aged, or senior years. Others, such as some writers, use the yearly seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter as metaphors for season of life such as Diana Curren Bennet who notes that “a season represents a fairly well-defined period of time in our lives, whether...physical or spiritual” (1).
However we describe the seasons of our lives, inherent in those definitions is that our life responsibilities and circumstances change inevitably. The author of Ecclesiastes, one of the wisdom books in the Old Testament, captures vividly the numerous seasons and associated changes in our lives:
There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens: a time for giving birth and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted, a time for killing and a time for healing, a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
a time for searching and a time for losing, a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
a time for tearing and a time for repairing, a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
a time for loving and a time for hating, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (CEB)
As we read through the passage, we notice that some of the seasons and times are exciting such as "a time for building up." On the other hand, several times involve significant loss.
How might we sense the presence of God in the changing seasons of our lives? First, we can find comfort that despite all the changes that we undergo from birth to death, God is unchangeable (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8) and His love and compassion are without end (Lam. 3:22-23). Jesus assures us that he will be with us always “to the very end of the age” (Mat. 28:20). We can hold onto God as our anchor in our ever-changing circumstances and ever-changing world. The Psalmist in Psalm 46 declares, “God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble.”
Are you in a happy season of your life? Thanks be to God for that! Or are you in a difficult season? Thanks be to God that He is there with you – continuing to love you and be your refuge and strength, no matter what.
1. Diana Curren Bennett, “Seasons of the Soul, “ in Silencio: Reflective Practices for Nurturing Your Soul, ed. Stephen A Macchia (Lexington, MA: LTI Publications, 2019), 142.