God for all Seasons
Eighteen months ago at the age of 60, I retired. Since then, life has changed so much. A new chapter has begun, and only God knows what I will be involved in, dare I say it, in my last chapter of life. In these months, I have spent time reflecting on my life so far and the privilege of knowing God who has been with me in every season of life.
I was raised in a Christian family in Wigan, England. In May 1976, I went to Edinburgh to start my nursing career. There I met and married Dave in 1978 and we began many adventures which I never could have predicted. We have three sons who soon will be 34, 32 and 30, two wonderful daughters-in-law and two grandsons aged 4 and 18 months.
In this life, there have been seasons of joy unspeakable, seasons of being so distressed that my heart nearly broke, seasons of frustration and anguish, seasons of laughter and fun, seasons of isolation, seasons of sweet, sweet fellowship, seasons of spiritual dryness and seasons of spiritual fruitfulness. All of this reminds me of the famous quote from Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”.
Through all the seasons, my God has been so faithful. At times when I didn’t feel God’s presence he was still there. He has surprised me many times with words given by others encouraging me to keep on going, or through words from a song or from scriptures. He knows me so well and knows exactly what I need and when I need it.
Recently I cared for my mother-in-law in our home until she passed away in October at age 87. Towards the end of her life I struggled with the emotion involved in and the tiredness that comes from broken nights but God was there encouraging me on. One song that I kept on singing was:
“God I look to you. I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God I look to you. You’re where my help comes from. Give me wisdom to know just what to do. I will love you Lord my strength, I will love you Lord my shield, I will love you Lord my rock, Forever all my days I will love you God.”
Dave and I take great comfort from the fact that Louise in her last few months rekindled her childhood desire for God. We discovered there were many seasons in her life that we had no knowledge of and it made me want to write down some of our family stories so that these seasons could be remembered and recorded for generations to come.
My God is the God for all seasons. Some of life’s seasons can be difficult to understand or even to find any sense in them. I recently came across a quote from Maria von Trapp upon whose life story the Sound of Music was based. She describes the seasons of our life as threads through a tapestry:
“It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a beautiful tapestry. As long as we live here we see only the reverse side of the weaving, and very often the pattern, with its threads running wildly, doesn’t seem to make sense. Someday, however, we shall understand. In looking back over the years we can discover how a red thread goes through the pattern of our life: the Will of God.” ― Maria Augusta von Trapp
What season are you in just now? Our God is a God for all seasons. One thing I am sure of is that He is with me for the whole journey whatever the season. Deuteronomy 31: 8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”
By Sylvia Pratt