As I write this, snow melts outside my window. It doesn’t snow much in South Carolina, so when it does, I cherish it, because I know it’ll probably be at least another year before it come again.
Although the cold seasons are my favorite time of the year, I must admit: I’ve been having spring fever recently.
Memories of sunny days by the pool, flowers budding on trees, the aroma of honeysuckle, waking up to the chirping of birds, and catching fireflies in the evenings (you’re never too young) fill my mind as I stare out my window, watching leafless trees sway within breezes.
Yet there’s something wrong about this. Because not too long ago, I was sweating from the heat, dreaming of cozy days cuddled by the fire and reading a good book.
Why is it that, no matter what season it is, I am always wishing for the next?
The same applies for the seasons of my life as well. Recently I have reached a winter in my life, a season that feels dark and cold, never-ending, as if nothing new is on the horizon. I thought spring should be here by now. I thought the snow would have melted a long time ago. And rather than finding beauty in the fading away, I have longed for the freshness of spring.
However, I forget that the newness wears off eventually. And once it does, then I will, once again, be longing for another new season.
As a little kid, I did not have much comprehension of seasons. I knew that summer was the period of time that occurred between the last grade I was in and the one approaching. I knew that Christmas was the cold-season holiday that never came.
But I was never curious as to how seasons worked. I never asked why winter seemed longer than the other seasons, why the leaves changed colors in the fall, and what the purpose of each season was.
Instead, I chose to enjoy the moment: I went Easter egg hunting in the spring, swam as much as I could during the summer, played in the leaves during the fall, and made snow angels in the occasional winter flurry. Back then I was able to find ways to have fun in every season that arrived.
There is a reason why God tells us to become like a child (Matt. 18:3).
We cannot see the big picture of our lives. We don’t understand what the purpose is behind each season, why it is necessary, or how long it will last.
But we can trust that God knows. We can remind ourselves that this season is going to last forever. And we can find ways to enjoy the one we’re in rather than constantly wishing for the next.
My favorite scripture in the Bible comes from Ecclesiastes 3:1, which states:
“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.”
There is going to come times of waiting in our lives; times of planting dreams before we can see them begin to take fruition. Spring cannot arrive unless the dead has drifted away and the seeds have been planted. It can’t come until the leaves have changed colors and fallen from the trees, until we have reached that point of almost giving up because the snow just will not stop falling, because it’s too cold, it’s too dark, it’s too lonely.
Yet it is during these times when our faith is strengthened. It is during these times when we grow, when God prepares us for the next season, and when we are tested to see if we are even ready for the next one (see Psalm 26:2, 66:10).
It’s not easy, though. In fact, when I spoke with my cousin the other day, I admitted that I have recently wondered if God has forgotten me. Because according to my own timing, I should have been way ahead of where I am now.
But then my cousin reminded me of how far God has brought me; even though there are several doors that I have yet to reach, there are also plenty of doors that God has opened. In fact, the life I am living today is the one I used to only dream of living in the past.
That made me wonder: Why have I been so busy focusing on what I did not have rather than enjoying what I do have? Why am I longing so much for the future, forgetting to enjoy the present and to appreciate the past?
And more importantly, why do I think that, just because my timing is different than God’s, that He has forgotten me?
Yes, I am a huge believer in setting goals, dreaming big, and creating a vision. But we have to remember that God is ultimately the one who directs our paths (Prov. 16:9). He is the one who writes every chapter in our book. So when we go through a season of stillness, that doesn’t mean He has forgotten about us; it simply means that His timing is not necessarily the same as ours, and that’s okay.
Soon this season will pass and we will miss what we have today, and then the newness will wear off, and we will look forward to the next season, and the cycle will continue.
Rather than making ourselves miserable by wishing for tomorrow, let’s instead choose to enjoy today. Because the truth is: beauty can be found in every season.
Spring is for new birth: Sunshine, flowers in bloom, trips to the beach. Summer is for relaxation: Days by the pool, sipping on iced coffee, playing pool volleyball with your family. Autumn is for transformation and getting rid of the old: Carving pumpkins, visiting an apple orchard, and sipping on pumpkin spiced lattes. Winter is for preparing for the new: Cuddling underneath a pile of blankets, building snowmen, and making hot coco for your family.
Some day you will look back and see how all of the puzzle pieces of your life fit together to make the bigger picture. You’ll realize that God was working in your life every step of the way, and you will understand how each chapter in your life was necessary in creating your life’s story.
It’s true: God does bring us through seasons of newness, seasons of joy and laughter—seasons of spring.
But that does not mean there isn’t beauty in the season we’re living today.
“There is a time to be born
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.
There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.
There is a time to cry
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad
and a time to dance…”
—Ecclesiastes 3:2-4 (NCV)