A Shift in Seasons

Sometimes I write because I have something weighing on my heart.  Other times, I write because I am avoiding homework. This post is a result of the later.

fall-scenery-backgrounds

Fall is almost here.  Last week the temperature went below 75 degrees and became giddy with anticipation and excitement.  Trader Joes has a display with leaves and all things pumpkin, Starbucks has brought back their fall drinks (I’m a sucker for Salted Caramel Mochas), and Halloween stores are starting to pop up again.  Like many people (*cough* “basic white girls” {as described by a dear friend of mine}), I’m ready for fall to begin.  I’m ready for apples, pumpkin spice everything, and chilly evenings.  I long for a reason to wear sweaters, boots, and cozy jackets.  Being from Ohio, I am ready to watch OSU football games, steaming mug of tea in hand, with the leaves changing in the background.

It’s ironic how the anticipation is present with the change of each new season and how this seems to happen.  If it’s winter- we want spring, spring- we want summer and so forth (though I’ve met very few people who actually want winter to come, especially in the Midwest). It seems to be a part of human nature to long for change (to a certain degree).  Of course there are always those who reject change and even those who fear it.  I could tie these thoughts into the typical Christian post that quotes Ecclesiastes 3.  You know, the one that goes “for everything there is a season…”  Since it’s become almost a cliché, I won’t go there. (Mostly because I’m pretty sure I’ve already written a post referencing that passage 😉 ).

I’ve written before about the seasons of life and the hardness of lessons.  With each new season there seems to be something new to learn.  As a college student, my life lessons seem to correlate to the change in courses each semester.  Some classes and lessons are hard, others are less hard.  Regardless, each lesson brings forth knew knowledge and understanding in some capacity.  As the lessons go deeper and the understanding grows we learn more and in the process, we grow closer to God.

I like think of this in reference to Moody classes.  As freshmen, we start in a class called “The Church and it’s Doctrines” (or CDOC).  This class is a broad overview of church history, doctrines, philosophy, and the Christian worldview.  It gives the basics that lead us into Christianity and Western Culture 1 and 2, Studying and Teaching the Bible, Hermeneutics, and Intro to Philosophy all which lead to Systematic Theology 1 and 2.  We start with the basics and with each class we delve deeper and deeper into the Bible, Church Doctrine, and Theology. At least in my experience, this is kind of how God seems to teach lessons.  He starts at the surface and as we grow in our relationship and the more He reveals about Himself to us, the more we are changed, the harder the lessons become, and the more our sin becomes apparent.  Time goes on, seasons change, and we grow.    Though it may still be the same lessons over and over again, the depth changes and cuts us to the core, and the deeper the change should run through.  The lessons we learn and the trials we face point us toward God and His plans for us.  In the midst of trials James reminds us to “count it all joy” because the testing of faith produces steadfastness or perseverance, (James 1:2,3).  Growing is hard.  Lessons can feel like a freight train that hits and drags us across the state.  They can bring up past pain and open up wounds.  But when are we ever promised that it will be easy?  When I look to scripture, the first person (aside from Jesus) to pop into my mind is Paul. Paul was beaten, scorned, thrown into prison multiple times, and yet God used Paul (and his trials) for His glory.  Paul doesn’t pout or write about how unfair life is though.  No.  He writes about the hardships he is facing as how it’s ultimately for the glory of God.  We may not be persecuted for our faith as Paul was, but we still face hard things in some capacity.  A child dies unexpectedly, we get an unwanted diagnosis, the person we thought was “the one” turns out to be the opposite, we are passed up for a promotion we think we deserve, or things just never seem to work out the way we want or expect.  As hard as it can be to swallow, it’s all a part of God’s perfect plan.  The pain runs deep and feel like it’s too dark to pull through, but it’s an unfortunate part of living in a fallen and sinful world.  As Christians, we can feel comforted by the fact that this world, is not the end.  These trails are not our undoing.  These momentary afflictions are just that; momentary.  Our goal is heaven and living with God in eternity.  As Paul says in one of my favorite passages in 2 Corinthians 4:16-28, “So we do not loose heart.  Though out outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  Seasons change.  Life is hard.  New lessons are learned. But through it all, God is holding us and has a plan.  Do not loose heart.

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