Winter has officially come to Glenwood Springs. I really cannot complain about the timing. I moved over in mid-October in order to get here before the snow. But I was completely spoiled by weeks of beautiful, mild weather.
“We usually have snow by Thanksgiving,” people told me. And I woke up that Thursday morning to a beautiful dusting outside. But it is outside the scope of human power to bring or hold off the snow. Our weathermen can make their best predictions–but all they can do is observe the weather patterns.
I grew up with only two seasons: rainy and less rainy. When I first moved to a place with four full seasons it impacted every area of my life. And it was much more of an emotional adjustment than I had anticipated. But what I did not expect was how God would use the seasons to teach me spiritual lessons.
The truth is that we all go through spiritual seasons in our lives, too. I have learned how to adjust to winter: I wear thicker socks, I always bring a beanie, and I plan to leave twenty minutes earlier in the morning. But how do I adjust to the seasons of my spiritual life?
Psalm 23 describes the journey of the believer in beautiful language.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” This is the overarching truth that applies to all seasons.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
David was a shepherd, and he is describing the movement of the flock. Of course the goal of the shepherd is to care for and feed his flock. But sometimes he has to lead them through those dark valleys to get to the high green pastures of summer. When I read these verses I see three very familiar seasons:
- The season of peace, rest, and restoration.
- The season of sanctification.
- The season of dark valleys.
The Lord takes me through each of those seasons on a regular basis. But through it all He is right there beside me, guiding and comforting me. And He always gets me where I need to go.
So when I look outside and I see the snow that marks the beginning of winter, it always drives me to examine my spiritual life. I want to learn to be thankful in every season, for the Lord uses them all in my life for good. I want to learn to weather them as gracefully as I weather the external seasons (I’m still working on winter).
And I want to say to you that whatever season you are in spiritually, remember that the Lord is your shepherd. No season lasts forever. And He is faithful to bring peace and restoration when you need it most.