Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seasons of Life


Winter...Spring...Summer...Fall.

Winter is the coldest time of the year and sometimes used to symbolize death and hopelessness.

At the end of winter comes Spring which is seen as a time of new life, of rebirth and a start of better times.

Summer is sunshine, fun and laughter.

Autumn (fall) marks the transition from summer to winter, when winds become colder, when skies turn grey, and leaves turn from vibrant green into beautiful shades of red, orange, gold and yellow, colloquially known as fall foliage.

Autumn has often been associated with melancholy, of strong painful feelings of sorrow, of the inevitability of aging and death.

As we journey through life, we will all experience pain (winter), hope (spring), happiness (summer) and sorrow (autumn).

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to loose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Some of us may be experiencing the autumn of life now, when our problems seem unsurmountable. This should not come as a surprise because all of us will have to go through sorrow and pain at some point of our journey. "We all have to experience many hardships," they said, "before we enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)

"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:2-3).

"A man does a fine thing when he endures pain, with a clear conscience towards God, though he knows he is suffering unjustly. After all, it is no credit to you if you are patient in bearing a punishment which you have richly deserved. But if you do your duty and are punished for it and can still accept it patiently, you are doing something worthwhile in God's sight. Indeed this is your calling. For Christ suffered for you and left you a personal example, so that you might follow in His footsteps. He was guilty of no sin. Yet when he was insulted He committed His cause to the One who judges fairly." (1 Pet. 2:19-23).

When we have Christ in our lives, we have the assurance that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

And no matter how big our problem is, as long as we have Him by our side, we can always say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."



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