I have never been more aware of the seasons in life than during this past year. Ecclesiastes gives us an undated seasonal calendar based on life changes. This calendar is not driven by moon months or the distance of the sun or the invisible pull of gravity.
We are weather systems of different seasons. Clouds hover. Sunshine bursts. Rain comes. Winds blow. Snow buries.
My year has been a time of many seasons. I’ve lived between the time to be born and the time to die, between planting and harvest, grieving and dancing, embracing and letting go, searching and losing, keeping and throwing away. So many contrasts. So many seasonal changes.
The epic calendar Solomon summarizes in his list of seasonal times covers the gamut of everything our hearts hold and the excruciating pain of letting something go. Woven through each change is a determination to know which season has come and what it needs to do before it leaves. That’s where growth comes. Always it is time to grow.
Spring always comes with promise for me. We walk through our yard to look for spring’s promise in green shoots. We can identify the rolled leaves of hosta or the hopeful stems of peonies. We watch buds bulge on stems waiting to burst. Hope grows before our eyes. Color will come! Green will fill the empty spaces. Something will grow!
Doesn’t it make sense that if God, our Creator, orchestrated this intricate system of seasons, He will bring similar seasonal change in our lives? Doesn’t it remind us that no season comes to stay? That every season will have its time before it morphs into another?
It was Alexander Pope who reminded us that hope springs eternal.
Think about that. God planted his hope in us as a seed that must find the light of day. Hope bursts from buried darkness in silent obedience to its seasonal voice like a buried seed sends its stem looking for light. This hope is not about circumstances. This hope is about life that wants to grow into something beautiful no matter how difficult the last season was.
In another composition of Solomon, he sang a song of the unfailing love of God for us, as unrequited and unreasonable as the love of couples before their wedding. He speaks of seasonal change there, too, with hope that must find a voice:
See! The winter is past . . . the season of singing has come,
Song of Solomon 2:11-12
We need to find our voice for the hope that springs eternal, for the promised seasonal change, for the growth that comes from letting go at the right time so that we are ready for something new to embrace.
I don’t know about you, but I feel a song coming on.