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Publication date: March 26, 2011 ISBN/EAN 13:1461128374 / 9781461128373 Page Count:46 Binding Type: US Trade Paper Trim Size: 5” x 8” Language: English Color: Black and white Related Categories: Religion /Christian Life /Personal Growth

Understanding the Seasons

Welcome 2018! It’s winter. It’s brutally cold. Each time I venture out I have to brace myself to face the cold. Sometimes, I try and console myself by counting the weeks and months until it will be spring again and I give myself a good pep talk. Hold on. You can do it. It’s almost over. 

Sometimes it works. Other times my heart sinks and I mutter I hate winter.
But no matter what I feel or how many pep talks I have, this one thing is sure—winter will pass and spring will surely come, with or without my consent.

I photographed this daffodil in a parking lot as I got out of my car one afternoon. Because it caught my eye. So sweet, but something was wrong. You see, it does not seem to know what season it’s in. This is a spring flower. We had several weeks of fairly nice warm weather and then boom! Winter showed up on the scene. I think the flower was confused. I felt sorry for it—maybe because I could see myself in the daffodil. 

Look closely, you can barely see it, but there is what appears to be a small puddle to the right of the bloom, it’s frozen water turned black ice.

My thoughts begin to wander and immediately I think of a story found in 1 Chronicles, an account of the mighty men that joined King David and became his army. (he was not yet king) Within the ranks of all the men noted, there were found the sons of Issachar, who understood the seasons, or better stated, the times and who also knew what should be done (1 Chronicles 12:32).

It can be a very difficult thing when we don't know what season were in much less what we are to do.
Notice the plants leaves in the photo? They are yellow, not all green. They lack nourishment, they are not vibrant as they would be if it were springtime. Yet still the same, there she is trying to make the best of it.
I think to myself, Am I like this daffodil? I don’t want to be like that. I want to know and discern the season I am in. I don’t want to be fooled into a season thinking it’s not over or that it’s just begun no, I want to know the times and seasons like the sons of Issachar, what I am to do and how I am to respond. Do I let go? Or do I fight to hold on?

What about you? Are you confused? Maybe you're in between seasons, perhaps you don’t know if your season is ending or just beginning. Maybe you do know, but saying goodbye to an old season while trying to say hello to the new can also be difficult. Knowing what to do and how to posture one’s heart can be challenging. And here we are, facing a new year and everything screams it’s a new year! Something should be happening!
Maybe you are asking should I hold on? Let go? Go back? Stay still? Move forward? do I bloom where I am planted, or hold on for the new soil? Am I striving? How do I rest? Forget about new year resolutions you’re trying to figure other stuff out!

Transition is always a matter of the heart, here is what I know for certain, My Heavenly Father leads perfectly. I need only to look to Him. He is an invincible, beautiful, sunny summer afternoon. And he teaches me to joy in Him no matter what the day or days look like. He is the one who says to me, yes, I know it is winter outside, and indeed very cold, but you have this promise, that no matter where you find yourself, happy, sad, winter, spring, your bondage and your barrenness are no more. Because you are hidden in me, and I am Life. So yes, go ahead, be a daffodil in the middle of winter bloom where you are planted. Even on the pavement of transition because it is a matter of the heart. In other words, the greatest knowing and discerning in any season is knowing who it is that leads you, guides you, protects you, provides for you. And like this daffodil in the midst of winter, with ice all around she blooms, to the untrained eye she is confused, out of place, maybe even the wrong colors, but she blooms nevertheless and so will I, so will you dear friend. Here’s to an incredible 2018 year!

The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land, filling the air with songs to awaken you and guide you forth. (The Passion)