oAs with many things in life, the Christian walk can draw many parallels from other experiences. The faith can be like a roller coaster at time: long waits, going fast, slow, up and down and for a lot of loops. Faith can be like a plant: waiting for a seed to germinate, pulling out weeds, pruning, harvest and so forth. And when we look at a calendar year, we see a very unique parallels that shows deep truths we must understand to grow as close to the father as we can on this planet.
Despite our zodiac signs, our age, every last person who comes to Christ is born in the spring, fittingly after a few months of the year already in winter to represent our life before him. Here everything is new, we learn, we grow, and things start to sprout and bloom in ways we never imagined. Yet, in all the new life, hazards can arise. Allergies to beautiful flowers can trigger reactions in us, and they attract the dangers of bees. We soon realize that we are only in the first stage of many more to come as truths and lessons should not sting this bad. Yet, no matter where we end up, we will always remember this season as being the most exciting, informative and formational in our walks.
In the summer things get hot. Any Christian who has not had to endure any trials is likely not a Christian. Jesus predicted it, and Paul explains precisely the reason these hardships will arise: so we can emulate Christ, prove our faith, and also be done with sin. In this season forest fires may arise, we might suffer heat exhaustion, and we may need to get baptized in a cool river or pool of his amazing grace . Still, despite whatever may come about in this second season/stage of our walks, this is the most pivotal, as the most progress can come about in hardships. These, with failure, will ironically grow you the closest to God as you learn the meaning of reliance on the cross, despite how difficult they seem at the time.
The fall brings about one of the most amazing phenomena in the year: the falling of the leaves. In this season, we shed that which is holding us back from a full embrace of Christ. The longer we serve God, and the more we know His word, the more glaringly obvious it becomes that we are not anything close to what the word describes, and we are hopeless to get there alone. Here we can learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to do the work that we cannot. In this season you will know beyond doubt that both the spring and summer were necessary to get you to this stage. You can draw on the lessons learned and your understanding of who God is, how He works, and the true extent of of his love and mercy for you. Your faith will solidify and you will no longer be thrown around like a wave in the ocean, but you learn to stand firm in the cross. Fittingly, we reap the greatest harvest here.
Finally, in winter, all seems dead. This life, as long as it may be lived, is still nothing. And, it is a very fortunate reality that it will end at an appointed time. In this season, there is no fear of the inevitable demise that will soon befall us as we know we are entrusting our selves into He who can rise us. Here we can eager await the new spring that will arise in the life of the believers who are growing. We can impart the wisdom that we have learned and leave a legacy that will remain long after Christ has called us home. Many tasks may be off limits from the things we used to love to do, and we may not be able to serve in the capacity we used to. Still, in this brief moment, we can draw an excitement of the promised of a resurrected, glorified body that he has promised us.
It is important to note that each season has its own full cycle year. So there is a winter for the summer, and a summer in the winter time. It is also not completely linear or in exact time frames. It is an ongoing process that is never complete this side of eternity. It is very easy to get stuck and stay dormant if we are insistent on doing things our own way and if we tie God's hands with rebellion and a stubborn heart- Israel did it many times over to teach us a lesson. We must recognize that God is a gentleman and he will not violate us and take us places we refuse to go. But if we trust in Him, and surrender our lives over, we know that despite where we are, despite our past, or how dreary the future may seem, our lives are in His hands. We know from the book of Philippians 1:6 that He will complete the good work that he has started in us. Praise the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!