Remember The Byrds?
Back in my childhood (and no, we’re not talking about the Dark Ages, unless you’re thinking of the internet, in which case– oh, never mind) there was a point where transistor radios were the “in” thing to have. They came with a little earphone, or you could play it without. They were groovy! It was popular in our school to bring them out on the playground at recess, and the kids would gather into two groups. There were two rival radio stations in our area, and you’d join whichever group was tuned in to the station you liked most. We’d listen and sometimes sing along to the hit tunes.
One of the songs that came out at that time was called “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds. They recorded it in 1965 (I’m dating myself, I know) and quickly reached number one on the Billboard hits chart, but it was actually written in 1959 by famed folk singer Pete Seeger. I loved the song, though at the time I had no idea that the lyrics came from the Bible. (If you’d like to hear it for the first time, or take a trip down memory lane, you can give a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKP4cfU28vM).
To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn
What brought this to mind is that at the time I’m writing this, we are coming to the end of one season (Summer, which I dislike) and approaching a new season (Fall– or Autumn– which I love). I live in the Northeast, so I’m blessed to be in a region that has four seasons, each with its own distinct joys. Some people live in places that only have two, the dry season and the wet season, while others live in areas where it’s basically hot and humid or brutally cold all year, with little deviation.
Personally I don’t think I would enjoy living in those places very much (no offense to those who do). In fact, having lived in New England all my life, there’s really no place I’d rather be. I enjoy the changing of the seasons because there’s always the expectation of something new and different just around the corner.
The first mention of seasons in the Bible is in Genesis 1:14, during Creation: “And God said, Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.”
The word translated as “sacred times” in the New International Version is translated as “seasons” in the King James Version. I like thinking of seasons as sacred times, because God created them all, each with their own qualities. God has a plan and purpose for each season we’re in– and that includes the seasons of our lives.
There Is A Season, Turn, Turn, Turn
Oh, yes, the earth has seasons and so do we. There’s the season of childhood, which is followed by the season of adolescence. They certainly aren’t the same! One is generally a carefree time of play and incredible learning, while the other is marked by awkwardness and uncertainty and uncomfortable changes.
Then there’s the season of young adulthood, and the shock of both increased independence and increased responsibility, as we discover adulting ain’t easy and the free ride is over. This season may or may not include marriage and children– more enormous changes– plus the whole career thing, which can be a real rollercoaster ride. We begin to realize life is not for the faint-hearted.
The season of young adult is followed by the season of midlife (crisis, anyone?), which brings new changes, not all of them welcome. We may mourn the fact that things haven’t worked out quite the way we thought they would (not a millionaire yet? Me neither). We leave behind a field of unobtained goals and half-forgotten dreams. But surely things will be great when we retire, right?
Yet the season of senior comes with its own set of challenges, as I’m currently discovering. Seemingly overnight, the mind continues to think, “Yeah, let’s do that!” while the body complains, “Are you crazy? Forget it!” You look in the mirror in the morning and ask, “Who’s that?”– or worse, you start seeing yourself turn into your parent. As Bette Davis said, “Aging ain’t for sissies!”
And A Time To Every Purpose Under Heaven
The truth of the matter is, both the seasons of the earth and the seasons of life are ordained by the Lord. Twice the Word of God refers to the “appointed season.” It’s all part of His design, and none of it catches Him by surprise. Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God knows what you’re going through, in each season of your life.
Jeremiah 34:26 says, “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” Unfortunately, we will all have times of sorrow in our life. We live in a broken world, and no one gets through unscathed. But for those who follow after God, there will also be “showers in season.” He sends showers of blessing into every season of our life.
So no matter what season you’re in, know that God has you covered. If you’re in a dry season, look up– there are showers of blessing coming your way! If life has not turned out the way you hoped, know that the last season in life is the season of glory. For the Christian, your final destination is Heaven– and there won’t be any disappointments there! The world may cry gloom and doom, but that’s not your destiny. You have a wonderful, loving, all-powerful Father who has great and mighty plans for you, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
So savor the season you’re in– the best is yet to come!
P.S. For a gentler rendition of “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, here’s Judy Collins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3kKqfTjsj0
“Where Is God In All Of This?” http://www.livingthetransformedlife.com/where-is-god-in-all-of-this
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