I’ve always loved the biblical analogy of seasons in climate to seasons in life. I love that Jesus knows we are going to go through highs and lows, and instead of trying to explain it lofty phrases he relates it to something we get to see every year and have first hand experience with.
There is a lot of death and loss around me in my current season. Lots of friends hurting from loss and hardships, praying for family and friends on deaths door, the death of things we thought may be. It’s a season of winter. Which happens to be aptly timed, and I’m so grateful. I have walked through winter seasons in summer, and it’s so much easier to trudge forward when everything is a bit gray around you too. It’s like the earth is mourning with you, instead of mocking you.
We have walked through our share of winter seasons in life. In recent years we have mourned the losses of unborn babies, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and the more everyday losses we have to walk through at times as well. The loss of friendships, job circumstances, our plans, home as we know it, community, etc.
As much as I dread these seasons…it’s really here that God brings new life.
Without the dying and death, there can’t be growth. If something doesn’t die off, there isn’t room for anything new to spring up.
This is easier to say, then walk through. When we lost my mother in law, and I held a seven week old baby in my arms, the symbolism was palpable. God brought us new life, in the midst of death. There was a reason to look up, to keep going. When I mourned the loss of life inside of me, He grew compassion and mercy for other women in the same situation. I needed to keep going, because He “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 2:4 ESV, read for full context). I needed to give the comfort and compassion the Lord showed me to during that time, to others.
Sometimes, you can’t see the life and light in the darkness. A door closes, there isn’t another one open, and it just feels dark, lonely and hopeless.
I’m so grateful that Jesus was so gracious to those who mourned. In John 11, after the death of Lazarus, I love the way we get to see Jesus respond to those who are grieving.
“When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.” v.28-29 ESV
Mary didn’t hide from Jesus, or refuse to see Him. Despite the fact she knew that he could have prevented Lazarus’ death, she went to Him, I believe because she knew that was the only place she would find solace.
“Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.” v. 32-35 ESV
I love that Mary isn’t afraid to bring hard questions to Jesus. Where were you? He can handle the pain and confusion. Not only does He see it, and hear it, He’s moved by it. He grieves with us. He doesn’t blow off our questions, or judge us for having them. He doesn’t expect us to understand. He sees our pain and wraps His arms around us and cries with us.
“And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced, teaching us to breathe,
And what was frozen through, is newly purposed, turning all things green
So it is with you, and how you make me new, with every season’s change
And so it will be, as you are re-creating me, summer, autumn, winter, spring.”
Nichole Nordeman, Seasons
It’s winter now, but spring is coming.
What season of life do you find yourself in?