Seasons of Gratitude

Life tends to go about in cycles. Take for example water. Water has three phases; liquid, gas and solid. Various factors affect the cycle of water. The temperature rises too high and the liquid turns into vapor. The temperature falls below a certain point and the liquid freezes solid. To some extent all of life seems to work in this fashion. Life appears to work in a circular fashion. I believe this is why the ancient world assumed that the history of life always has this tendency: circular (eternal) and not linear (finite with a start to finish).

As advanced as we may pretend to be in our modern-civilized world we find the same philosophy carried along. The very popular Disney movie the Lion King embeds this belief into the minds of their unsuspecting audience captured in the Elton John song, “The Circle of Life.” The premise of the song is that life—history—always functions in a cyclical fashion. No real beginning. No real end. Life is just a circle. We live. We die. Our bodies are absorbed by others to sustain them, and then our force is shared with the universe.

For those of us who live away from the equator we are blessed with the cyclical fashion of the seasons. In Ohio, we have long winters, short spring’s and summer’s and fall’s. Year after year we watch the seasons change, despite many climate theorists Dooms Day scenarios.

Now, I’d imagine most people if you asked them would tell you they have a favorite time of year (season). Some like the Spring because of the flowers and the greenery. Some of the more demented individuals love the rain showers that preceded this newness of life. For others the heat of summer and the bronzing rays of the scorching sun are what they like. To be sure, I love the extra hours of day light, but hate the heat and accompanying humidity. Not to mention the nagging plethora of bugs that plague the wooded countryside where I live.

My favorite season is Autumn. I love the changing color of the surrounding forests and the cool crisp air after a nightly frost. Flannels and campfires, roasted marshmallows and semi-blackened hotdogs, cups of warm coco and beautiful starlit nights…not to mention the disseminating/dying bug population are just a few reasons why I love this time of year so much.

The Bible reveals that “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Gen 8.22). That is to say life has its consistency, its stability in God. He holds these things together. He sets the boundaries on times of life, labels them and gives them importance.

I write this because contrary to the secular worldview that states all that we see…all the uniformity in the midst of supposed chaos, which is thought to be brought about by chance random processes (an accident, a very good one but an accident nonetheless) is actually the Sovereign work and design of our Creator. God not only created the seasons as we know them, but He has appointed each for their place. The same is true with our lives.

You see, our lives are lived in many ways like the seasons going on around us year-by-year. Although we may not remember the day(s), our entrance into this world was a season of great joy for our parents and grandparents and their friends. Our childhood is both a time of excitement, exploration, trial, error and corrective discipline for us, but a time of memory building, responsibility in rearing and meaningful prayers being lifted up on our behalf again by those loved ones in our lives that knew our names before we did. Each year is a reminder of our birth. Each year is filled with seasons of celebration, thankfulness, disappointments and fears. We grow into adulthood and experience all the wonders of that season of life (marriage, work, childrearing, etc.) Eventually, for those of us who are fortunate (those of the human race who have been graced with long life) see their children grow into men and women, raising families of their own. We experience the loss of family and friends, people who have touched our lives with their presence. Every moment, every day, every week, month and year…every event in our lives has special meaning to us (good or bad) …every breath is a gift.

Regardless of where life has taken you. Regardless of where you find yourself right now…whatever season you are experiencing, each and every moment is a gift from above. Sometimes it is very easy to forget that truth. Sometimes we have a tendency of getting caught up in the negative circumstances of life and we let it slip that today we are alive. Today we have an opportunity to live.

My point is this. Life may seem to have no purpose, to just go in circles repeating itself again and again for no real reason at all, but that is not the truth. Life, every moment of every day is a precious gift. Even pain, suffering, trial and tribulation has a purpose. Even pain teaches us that we are alive and that we have something to thank God for. Because even in our pain and suffering we know that we are living, and He has given this to us…we are not dead.

Have you thanked Jesus Christ recently for the good, bad, for the better and the worst, even in sickness and in health? Have you truly cherished Him, who created and died for you? Have you been grateful for the seasons of life, in life, that He alone has granted? If not, will you not do so?

1 Comment

  1. This is a very good reminder. It’s very easy, when going through the bad, to forget that God has ALL things in His control. Trusting in him is something that I find I say I’m doing but not always following through on.

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