by Karin Whittaker
The change of seasons is a necessary, even unavoidable truth in all life.
So it is in our walk with God. In nature (creation) we see it as a constant reminder of our own need for seasons - the planting, whether deliberately or accidental - of seeds, the watering and feeding of young plants, growth, and more growth so as to fruit in time for harvest. Then slowing down of life, and, what looks like death, in the rest and restoration time of winter when the body that had been fruitful must become quiet and restful. It will need careful pruning. It will need to stop producing. So that, in order to fruit again, it restores its energies and strength for the new season. Can we liken this to our walk in faith?
Yes, it is a very useful metaphor. We also need seasons to plant the Word of God, nourish it and see it grow, produce a harvest and after this, prepare ourselves for pruning. God will use others to help us along the way. We will be in situations where we realise we are "doing too much" or not the right thing to grow the Kingdom. This can go on for some time, until the time comes when life no longer flows, when we fell overburdened, when the energy we once had has all but drained away. That's when we need to stop, take stock, see what is going on and act on it.
Do I need to cut down on activities? Do I need to call in help to get jobs done which do not always require me to be there? To free up time to spend with family, be it physical or church family. To free up time to be with God. If we fight this natural rhythm of growth, fruit, harvest, pruning and rest we will only suffer in the long run.