Last night as I sat on my patio visiting and eating dinner with my husband, it seemed spring was celebrating everywhere. Our resident squirrel was literally putting on a gymnastics show jumping from branch to branch to tree with daring leaps of faith, then balancing the telephone tight rope wire, then soaring higher and higher through the trees. I’m not normally a big fan of squirrels since they dig in my flower beds and leave a mess all over the patio as they devour my trees.
But this one just makes me laugh!
Surely there must be a squirrel olympics somewhere and he is in training!
The flowers are in full bloom, the birds are singing. All of creation is celebrating the end of winter and bursting with joy here in south Louisiana.
As I write I am aware that everyone is not there yet. My youngest daughter has endured a snow blizzard in NYC this week. Yet, all of us can relate to that spiritual longing of spring that rises within our souls. Longing for renewal, clearing out the dead season of winter, planting something new, and bringing forth beauty to the world.
It makes me want to plan a party with friends, cook a new dish, and spring clean the clutter in my house! That last one is always my challenge as I’d much rather plant new flowers or visit with friends than clear out the winter debris in my home and life.
Can anyone relate?
But it must be done.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Physically I have had a long winter, and it is so wonderful to feel the energy and expectancy of spring in my spirit. During the last few months, my body and soul have often felt like the broken branches of winter I saw fallen in my yard. But friends have lifted me up in prayer and God has poured out healing and after a season of illness, forced rest and waiting for strength, the time for planting new things in my life has at last arrived.
Our spiritual lives experience the rhythm of the seasons just like creation. But they are not always in sync with the seasons of the year. I have friends whose souls are in winter now. Their hearts are in pain, depression, or loneliness. They are in a season of waiting as I was, a season of prayer, of pruning. Often winter seasons of our souls are brought on by loss, tragedy or illness. Winter is that season where we must learn to walk by faith and not by sight.
Others I know, seem to be in a season of summer. Life is full of joy and the abundance of God’s goodness. Those experiencing summer in their souls usher in the spirit of giving, sweet rest and seem to be savoring the fullness of Christ.
Or you may be in the spiritual season of fall. It is a time for the hard work of planting in order that your life may bear fruit. Or you have planted and sown and now you are reaping a harvest in your life. Perhaps a harvest of souls, a harvest of peace or the beautiful fruit of righteousness because you have learned the lessons of abiding in Christ and waiting for His perfect timing to yield. In this season you find that your heart is full of gratefulness.
I’m learning that the Lord orders the seasons of our spiritual lives just as He orders the seasons of His creation. It is best if we let them do the work they are intended to do. We cannot force spring before the winter’s rest is complete. Yet we often need a season of rest after the hard labor of a fall season for our souls.
The big word that we hear over and over for our lives today is balance. And so we, especially women, are ever seeking to find balance in our lives. I’m not sure that is really even possible or that we will find true fulfillment that way.
Perhaps we would do better to seek to understand and live within the rhythm of the season that God has appointed for our lives. There is an order and purpose to the season you are in now. We must learn to let each season of our soul have its way within us. We must learn to listen for His Word speaking into the depths of our souls to accomplish what He desires.
Sometimes, we must endure the loneliness and pain of winter and simply wait.
Sometimes we soar with the lightness and freedom of summer.
Sometimes we must work hard and plant to yield a harvest of Kingdom fruit,
and sometimes the spring winds blow in with expectancy and hope of new life and beauty.
When we seek to surrender our souls to the rhythm of the season we are in, we ultimately experience the wholeness the Father has planned for us.
And it seems in my life, that learning to recognize the season I am in helps me look for the lessons the Lord wants to teach me through it. My journey is more significant and my faith grows deeper as I learn to live in the rhythm of each season and seek the Divine encounters found within. Then I can emerge into each new season with gratefulness in my heart because I know that it has served a purpose in my life. Jesus is always present throughout the soul seasons we experience. He has appointed each one for our good, for our spiritual needs and His Kingdom work.
The Lord meets me in different ways. Sometimes I have to look for Him under the hidden, broken branches of winter and sometimes He seems to be celebrating with me, beckoning me to take a leap of faith and soar to new heights through the trees like that crazy squirrel in my yard!
What season are you experiencing in your soul?
Are there faith lessons to learn?
The Father wants to meet you there.
Grateful to be in the soul season of spring,
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