Fall Again: Good News for the Seasons of Life

Fall Again
Fall Again: Good News for the Seasons of Life

As I sat in my window seat, sipping a complimentary beverage at a local coffee shop this week, I peered up from behind my computer screen to catch a glimpse of a sign I somehow missed as I entered the door just minutes before.  There it was in bold letters with illustrations of autumn leaves around the headline – “Fall Again.”  In spite of the high 80s temperatures outside, the sign reminded me of what I had conveniently forgotten: Fall is here; another season in a busy year.

I grew up in West Virginia where every season was distinguishable from the last.  Fall included a tapestry of colors people would drive from all over the southeast to enjoy; the winters almost always included several school-closing snow storms that led folks from all over the region to hit the slopes in the eastern mountains; the spring brought the rains and the fresh signs of budding life, leading many to head for hillside lakes and rivers; and the summer brought a heat and humidity that caused an exodus of mountaineers, making their annual pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach.

Like the rhythms of a busy year, our lives include a series of changing seasons, but unlike the Gregorian calendar, the seasons of life are less predictable and can come upon us without warning or instructions for how to navigate them.   As a pastor, I have the privilege sitting with people of diverse backgrounds and stages of life, seeking to shine the light of the Gospel on the various seasons of life.  Some are in a season of joy, celebrating a new life or relationship; others are in a season of pain, picking up the pieces from shattered relationships or shattered dreams; others are in a season of uncertainty, processing a recent diagnosis or a potential change in career or residency; others are in a season of stability marked by predictable patterns and steady relationships; others are in a indistinguishable season, simply bouncing from one moment to the next with nary an opportunity to reflect.

Is there good news in each of these seasons?  In Ecclesiastes 3:1, the author reflects on these ever-changing seasons of life, saying, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”  He goes on to describe these seasons from life and death to war and peace (Eccl. 3:2-8).  In the midst of these shifting seasons, the author reflects on the only constant, saying, “I perceive that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.  God has done it, so that people fear before him” (Eccl 3:14-15).

While the seasons of life rise and fall, the sovereign care of God endures forever, enabling us to shift our gaze from the fear-inducing awe of our circumstances toward the worship-inducing awe that comes in lifting our eyes toward Him.  In whatever season you may find yourself, may you have the gift of turning your anxieties Godward in prayer, knowing that the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).