The Seasons of Life

We had our first snowfall of the year here in New Hampshire today! There wasn’t enough of it to take a picture of, but there were a few flakes floating down from the sky. 🙂 It’s funny though – it’s almost halfway through October and we haven’t had a good frost in our area yet (usually we get one in September). However, the lack of leaves on the trees around here make it look like it’s November! It’s an odd year.

Yesterday as I was looking at the view from the farmstand where I work, I noticed how different the trees around me looked from each other. The trees across the road look like they are ready for winter with their feathery branches bare of the showy costumes they wore just a couple of weeks ago. Closer to me, the tree in the yard to the left is still hanging on to a few remnants of it’s once-glorious dress, like Cinderella’s first ball gown that her evil stepsisters tore to pieces. Ten feet away from that tree is another whose branches are still fully loaded, and many of those leaves still green, looking like it has just left August behind and is ready to begin its September parade.

Such contrast in such close proximity. Like people in various stages of life. One person’s time of trial is another person’s time of joy. One person’s time of action is another person’s time of quiet waiting. When I’m having a hard day, it’s easy for me to look at other people and think, “They have it so easy! When is my life going to be that happy?” But two thoughts rebuke me for such a jealous attitude: 1) You never truly know what is going on in someone else’s life – they may be going through a hard time and handling it better than I am! and 2) it may be their season of rejoicing. And I’ve noticed that the Lord has things pretty well-balanced out for us: the fact is, there ARE seasons to our lives; for the most part, one person’s life is not a bed of roses while another’s is a bed of thorns (even Job and Joseph had their abundant blessings after going through overwhelming trials!). An area of struggle for me may be something that another person doesn’t have to worry about. But something that they struggle with may be something I don’t have to worry about. Times of trials and blessings, joys and sorrows – all tend to balance out in the wise hand of the Almighty. The essential truth is that God has a unique plan and purpose for each person’s life that includes seasons of struggle and blessing, and no matter what season we or the people around us are in, He has promised to give us the grace to handle whatever He allows to come our way.

“There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
 a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
 a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
 a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
 a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
 a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
 a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
 a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.”
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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