'Seasons of life'
1st September 2020
'every purpose under heaven'
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every purpose under heaven:
.... Ecclesiastes. 3:1
Today is the 1st September and the summer is nearly over although,
bearing in mind the winds
and temperatures we've had over the weekend
we could be forgiven for thinking
we've skipped Autumn altogether
and gone straight to winter.
The start of the new school year is about to start
and we think of harvest time celebrations
(probably very different this year)
and, Oh no!
the approach of Christmas.
However, taking into consideration all of the vagaries of our British weather,
this morning was calm and sunny
with that nip in the air that reminds us of Autumn.
Pope Francis had decreed today, 1st September,
as World Day of Prayer for Creation,
and, walking the fields with Dolce,(our dog)
I could not help but sing praises to God,
the creator of our universe,
'O Lord my God,
when I in awesome wonder,
consider all the works thy hand hath made...'
Just as well there was no one about!
Few would have thought,
as we planned year
our holidays at home and abroad in January / February
just what the coming year would bring;
schools, churches and the hospitality
industry all closed,
hospitals working to capacity and beyond
as this pandemic took hold,
essential items vanishing
from the supermarket shelves,
communication with family and friends
restricted to telephone and social media.
There is a saying,
'What amuses God?..... People making plans."
We have all been changed by the last few months,
our world has been rocked,
we have been made more aware
of our own vulnerability.
For many it will have brought us closer to God.
For God is with us in every season of our life.
When we face the unknown,
we can trust that He is in control
and working out every situation for our good.
Paul, in his letter to the Romans wrote
'And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according
to his purpose' 8:28
In tough times where pandemics,
health, money, friends, marriage,
life in general is not looking good
we may wonder what is going on.
But God strengthens us
and moulds us through all the trials
and circumstances in life.
It is during the tough seasons
that we often grow the most in our character.
It is difficult to form outstanding character
in seasons when all is going well,
we are comfortable and satisfied.
This is one reason why God
arranges seasons where we have to fight,
where things do not come easily.
We can be confident that God
is working things out for our good,
no matter how things are going
in the external world.
God's main purpose is to prepare
and form us for eternity,
to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.
When we understand that,
we can understand that we are not going to have
easy seasons all the time.
Even the blessed man of Psalm 1,
who meditates on the world,
"in its season" (Ps 1:1-3).
Blessed is the one...
whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night...
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season.
and whose leaf does not wither -
whatever they do prospers.
Whether we see fruit
in our current season or not,
God is still at work,
preparing something good for us.