Week 21: Summer’s End

Summer is quickly drawing to a close. The last few months stretch behind me; their days full of heat and humidity. I can’t help but compare that to my own spiritual life.

Life comes in seasons and they are not all that different from the four that we experience here in Minnesota.

Spring.

Summer.

Fall.

Winter.

Each one is different than the last and even more different from its counterpart the year before. This year, for example, we didn’t truly have a spring. Late winter blossomed into a full-fledged summer over night, or so it seemed.

Spring brings with it new growth and splashes of vibrant color. Spring is when everything that was once asleep or dormant breathes back to life. I picture a new Christian or one coming out of a spiritually dry spell and into an intensely growing season. It’s a period of transition. The new believer begins to see vibrant color through Christ and as their roots begin to run deeper and deeper in Him; their branches begin to bud and spring forth life that pours into every other part of their life, leaving no stone unturned. For the believer coming out of a deep, dormant winter, their roots begin to tingle with life. God splashes color onto the canvas of their lives, much like the new believer’s; as He begins growing them in areas they hadn’t imagined before. Spring brings the beginning of growth and the sense of discovery.

Summer, long, hot and humid as it may be, continues that growth process although parts of it may be harder to endure (especially when the temperature is scorching). I remember my father’s corn growing to be over 7 feet tall during the summer and you could swear each stalk would grow a couple of inches during summer’s hottest and most humid days. It’s much like that in that Christian’s walk too. I’m still feeling the burn of my growth these past few months even though I know that He’s just getting started. During those hot and intense moments, God is able to stretch and mold us even further into what He desires and knows us to be.

Fall is like the mosaic of the seasons’ entirety; the final product, if you will. The harvest God has planted in you and around you must be reaped for His glory.

Winter, although dormant, brings with it peace and rest. I tend to think that winter can bring healing while everything lays dormant, waiting for the sun’s rays to become warm and bring everything back to life again. And that it’s a time for reflection; to reflect on the seasons past; on the growth period you’ve just come through. What did God do in your life? It also has some very, very cold days. Those days are those when it seems God is distant (although He never is). Those are the days when we feel the most alone; the most vulnerable. Something may have been stripped away and we’re left, open for the world to see and we can’t see how God could be using this season for anything good.

Each season has a different length. Minnesota winters can last from three to six months out of the year…and sometimes it feels like nine. The winter of the soul can last years. Mine did. There was a period of five years where I didn’t feel as if I was growing as immensely as I wanted to, and yet I was…in patience. I’ve spent three days in spring only to dive, head first into summer for several months, only to be surrounded by winter, once again.

In God, there is a season for everything. A season to wake up. A season to begin to grow and come to life. A season to grow immensely. A season to reap and be harvested. A season be barren. A season…to die. And those seasons don’t necessarily come in the same order as they do year in and year out here on earth. I’ve jumped from Summer to Winter in the breadth of a few days, skipping fall all together.

It may be summer’s end in Minnesota, but spiritually, summer’s just beginning. What season are you in?

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