INSIDE: Each season of our lives brings different opportunities for us to grow in our relationship with God. However, each season also produces challenges that pull us away. Learn a simple spiritual growth tip for each season of your life.
I am terrible at gardening. If I don’t actually kill my plants, I somehow manage to stop them from growing the way they should. My flower beds look unorganized and unkept and I never know what needs to be done during each season. When is the optimal time to plant? How much should I water? Do I need to prune as the plants grow and the early blooms die? I’m clueless!
But you know what? I still try. There is something about seeing my imperfect garden change through the seasons that pulls to me every year. I think that is because I see myself going through seasons of life and somehow there is a connection that I don’t want to give up.
a season of growth
Don’t you just love Spring time? This is a time of new beginnings! Seeds are being planted and things that have been dormant are starting to bloom.
We experience a similar season in our lives. New jobs, new relationships, new locations – all of these things give us an opportutinty to experience growth. This is an important time to lean on God for wisdom and direction.
New opportunities are exciting but things can quickly become overwhelming and we can come so busy that we forget how important it is to maintain our relationship with the Lord.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH TIP during life’s Spring seasons:
Make a point of praying each day for God’s sovereign hand to be on you as you move forward in your whatever “new” thing you are starting.
Need help? Try using these personalized prayer cards that you can tuck it into your day planner, hang on your mirror, or put somewhere you will see it every day. Use them to stick with a daily prayer habit, changing to new prayer cards whenever needed.
a season of hard work
Summer months are often thought of as a “break” for many of us, but any gardener or farmer knows this is no time to rest. Watering, fertilizing, pulling weeds, fending off bugs and critters are all part of a regular days’ work.
Eventually, that job or relationship that you were so excited to start begins to lose its “shine” and it is time to put in the hard work that it takes to keep things going strong. Unfortunately, we will experience some struggles as we need to pull out weeds that grow in our own lives. We will grow tired as we water and fertilize and water and fertilize…and water again the relationships we are trying to grow. (Remember I mention pruning earlier? How do you know when these relationships just need to be cut off?!)
Hard work makes us tired and it is a prime opportunity for us to fall into temptation, which comes from both our own hearts and Satan. The best way to prevent this is by being grounded in your faith!
SPIRITUAL GROWTH TIP during life’s Summer seasons:
Set aside time every day to be with God even though you are super busy. Spending time with Him can be as refreshing to our soul as jumping in the pool after a long day in the heat is to our body.
Need help? Work through this 30 Days of Finding Your Faith study and spent 15 min a day connecting with God, reflecting on His Word, and praying to Him about what is on your heart.
a season of harvest
Finally, a time to reap the rewards off all the hard work put in during those long, hot summer months. While the workload doesn’t lessen up during this time, it is easier to enjoy because the fruits of labor are can be seen. But a season of harvest can be stressful when the focus is too much on the results of all our hard work rather than being grateful this is anything to harvest at all.
For us, this season could come in a relationship that has finally healed after a “never-ending summer. ” Or it could be a financial gain that comes from starting and working a business. This could be a time of need where others you once took care of are returning the blessing.
This is a time when we should take the posture of gratitude towards God for all He has done. After all, we can do the work but HE makes things grow!
SPIRITUAL GROWTH TIP during life’s Fall seasons:
Make a habit of thanking the Lord for His blessings! You can jot down 1 thing a day on your calendar or post something you are thankful for every day for 30 days on social media. Just be verbally thankful for what God has done!
Need help? Teaching this habit to ourselves is easier when we teach it to others! Check out this post, Ask This One Question Every Night and See What Happens, to learn how to encourage your family to join you in being grateful.
a season of rest (or maybe struggle)
Cold weather often drives us indoors and when we look outside, the world can seem gloomy and uninviting. It is dark more often than it is light which can be very unmotivating. But for a farmer or gardener, there is a chance to evaluate the past year and see what went well and what changes and improvements must be made going forward. Preparations are made to break ground again soon.
Winter seasons in our lives can seem like a punishment. We enter these times when something comes to an end but something else has not yet started. It can be painful to be a winter season of our lives because we don’t see growth and it may feel like there isn’t anything to show for all our hard work.
This can be a time of real spiritual struggle because we were not diligent during the other seasons of our life to stay close to God. We wandered too far from Him and now we can’t feel His presence in the midst of the trial we are experiencing. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH TIP during life’s Winter seasons:
Dig into God’s Word so that He can prepare your heart for what is coming next – growth! A deep dive study into the Scriptures will give you perspective as you remember all that God has done in our redemptive history and what He promises He will still do in the future.
Need help? Listen to the Rejoice in Our Suffering audio devotional series based on Romans 5:1-5 and learn why God allows His people to go through hardships. Your winter is not meant to be an end, it is a time to prepare for a new beginning.
We cannot prevent the changing of the seasons in our lives any more than the farmer can avoid them.
We must learn to accept each one for what it is and appreciate what our responsibilities are during that time. But no matter what season of life we are in, God is meant to be a part of it because, while the seasons are always changing, our God is UN-changing. We can always trust in His perfect nature and His divine wisdom.
Friend, there is never a season in your life that takes God by surprise. He is still in control.