Straight from a Seasoned Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I’m thankful to live in a country where four seasons are experienced. I love the variety that comes with each season. For instance, I love the summer heat, the spring freshness, the fall colours, and the winter’s cold and snowy weather that gives me a good excuse to don a comfortable sweater, curl up under a soft blanket, and warm up to a cozy fire with a hot drink.
But while there are things I appreciate about each season, there are also things I could easily do without if I’m honest. Even as I write this, I’m looking out into a bleak, grey sky as the backdrop to dismal, leafless trees. All in stark contrast to the intense colours and clear blue skies that pervaded my view only a short couple of weeks ago.
Similarly, each season of life has its own beauty and challenges. I’ve learned that joy and sadness can co-exist. It is our job to embrace them both. In fact, there’s a chance that we may not appreciate one without the other.
For instance, I have experienced joyous celebrations that have made for sad endings. On the other hand, I have endured seasons of pain that have allowed me to more profoundly experience God’s comfort. I’ve encountered loneliness that has caused me to more readily welcome companionship. I’ve exhausted myself in seasons of busyness, which has given me a better understanding of my need for rest and replenishment. I have grieved the loss of friendships, dreams, and loved ones, which, while not minimizing the loss, have also caused personal growth, taught invaluable lessons, and made way for new life.
King Solomon gives us an impactful picture of the seasons of life in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV) that I think we could all take to heart:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born 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 scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
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.
In season and out, God is faithful. And, here’s where we can be assured, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccles. 3:11, NIV).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple, Dancing in the Rain, and A Ministry Survival Guide. She’s also a writer for Just Between Us Magazine, theStory, and Good Ground. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.