Seasons of the Soul

 

I enjoyed reading the book Spiritual Rhythm: Being With Jesus Every Season Of Your Soul, by Mark Buchanan—a very insightful book that compares the seasons of the soul to the seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, winter.

Ruthie and I are blessed to live on a property that, come spring, begins to look like a plush resort. We live on the Esbenshade estate. Esbenshade Greenhouse is across the street—over 14 soccer fields full of flowers and plants. Over a quarter of a million poinsettias are being groomed now for the Christmas season. Just weeks ago, still midway through fall, the colors and plants on our plot were vibrant and lush, enough to invoke an ooo and an ahhh.

But today the host of flower beds and bush gardens are gone. The landscapers from the greenhouse came and cleared it all away to prepare for winter. Almost every plant, every perennial, ferns, tall decorative grasses, were cut to the ground, and all the fallen leaves raked and discarded. Spring will come again, and first, the tulips will appear, and then a host of flowers that grow yearly will be next, then the roses, and then…everything.

And the weeds, too.

The winter season seems negative, and our property is quite boring today compared to what it was just weeks ago—no oooo’s, no ahhhhh’s, but there is a good side, too. All the poison and weeds that were hidden among the plants was cleared, and all the imposter plants will not have a chance to sneak up on the good ones come spring.

We all want life to be like spring—inside our heart—fresh, alive, and growing, and then spring transitions into summer. But in everybody’s life, there must be the season of winter, too, where it seems as if things are cut down or stripped from us, and perhaps life seems a bit more boring than before. But each season of the soul, though not all equally appealing to our heart, is necessary for each of us to keep the heart healthy.

Winter is upon us. Some of you may be in a winter season of the heart. Embrace the barrenness, and what may not seem to be growing, because in the winter season, God grows up deep in a way that He can’t in some of the other seasons.

May you have grace to know and hope that once again…spring will come!

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