Most everyone has heard these famous seasons of life quotes. “This too will pass”, and “to everything, there is a season.
All we have to do is look at a calendar, the news, our journals, or in a mirror to realize that things are forever changing: our circumstances, the world around us, and yes, even our bodies.
If you are like many people, adapting to change is sometimes hard. We need strategies to make the transition easier so we can cope with the ever-changing, emotional seasons of life.
Seasons of life meaning
Someone has taken the calendar and compared it to human life, with 4 distinct climate divisions. So what do the 4 seasons represent?
- Spring represents our birth, growth, education, etc.
- Summer involves being an adult, working hard, accumulating possessions, and so on.
- Fall is when we start slowing down a little, reaping the reward of our summer efforts.
- Winter represents the end stages of life.
But I wish to focus on different seasons of life that surely come our way and not necessarily in the order of the calendar.
We are going to look at seasons from the perspective of our feelings.
Bible verses about seasons of life
So what does the Bible say about seasons of life? The most well-known passage can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes.
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NASV (Thanks to Bible Gateway)
When you look at the changing seasons of life mentioned in the Bible, there are a lot of emotions involved. Some are pleasant, and some are not.
That is the way life goes. One minute we are feeling fine and the next we are down in the dumps.
Emotional seasons of life
Joyful seasons of life
From the passage in Ecclesiastes, we see a number of times when joy is a dominant feeling: a new baby, laughing, dancing, hugging, and loving.
Today we would include:
- getting married
- receiving a promotion
- going on vacation
- watching our children perform in school plays
- enjoying the company of friends
- finding Scripture verses that promote gratitude and praise
- I bet you can come up with many other joyous moments in life. Why not mention them in the comments? Your insight will help others recognize the many joyous gifts that God allows us to have.
These seasons usually cycle through our lives and we need to use them to prepare for the times when life won’t be so wonderful. We need to let those many memories become some of our inner strength.
Frustrating seasons of life
These seasons are not terrible, but they do stretch us sometimes. Just accomplishing our everyday responsibilities sometimes come with challenges.
- You are running late for the carpool and you can’t find your keys
- The lawn needs watering but the hoses keep getting tangled as you move sprinklers around
- It’s time to harvest on the farm and the tractor needs repair
- You have a big presentation to make and the PowerPoint file has disappeared
- On your day off you planned to sleep in, but the neighbor starts mowing the lawn at 7 am
None of these frustrations will matter 20 years from now. But at the moment they are occurring, our feelings can flash into panic, anger, or fear.
Lonely seasons of life
Feeling lonely is a common condition, but not the same as being alone. Feeling lonely is a state of mind.
Feeling lonely can happen with:
- wanting to be married when you are single
- being married but having an inattentive spouse
- having gone through a divorce
- becoming a widow
- when “empty nest” becomes a reality for a single mom
- a recent move to a new city
- starting a new job
- growing old and all the youngsters are off doing their own thing
Just because you have experienced these situations does not mean you will automatically be lonely. It all depends on your mindset.
Painful seasons of life
Many people suffer from physical or emotional pain. There are so many things that hurt, and most involve some kind of loss.
- loss of relationships through death or divorce
- betrayal by someone you thought was a friend
- loss of all your possessions to fire or flood
- chronic illness
- beginning to sense that the world is moving on without us, that our skills are no longer needed
- loss of physical function and independence
The final season of life
Yes, we all must face a time when our bodies wear out and won’t heal themselves any longer. Our immune system is an amazing thing but it won’t last forever. And our bodies ability to build new tissue will wane.
As we age these realities begin to occupy more and more of our thoughts.
Yet, we don’t have to despair.
If we have a relationship with Jesus, death is the beginning of something grand and glorious. Earth is not our home. We are just passing through. We will graduate to the promise of heaven.
Coping with the emotional seasons of life
Seasons of joy and frustration
Never underestimate the value of joy and frustration. These two seasons are where we practice for the other seasons of life.
When we are experiencing great joy in our lives we need to take the time to thank God for them. And if we look closely, we often will see some intricate details that God has worked out for us to have these moments.
Write these details down. Later you will be glad you did. They will help you remember that God is good.
Even in our challenges, we will find value. It is here that we can practice.
But practice what, you may ask? We need to practice quoting appropriate Bible verses to ourselves.
- I don’t know what to do but God does (2Chronicles 20:12)
- God is good and anything He allows in my life will be used for good, even if I don’t understand it right now. (Nahum 1:7, Psalm 145:9, Psalm 34:8, Romans 8:28)
- God is with me, helping me even now in my challenge. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 43:2, 1 Corinthians 10:13)
These are only a few Scriptures that as we practice quoting will come naturally when life gets harder.
This of course assumes that we have been reading the Bible and memorizing important Bible verses.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
The more we immerse ourselves in Scripture, the greater our coping skills will be when it comes to the emotional seasons of life.
Seasons of loneliness and pain
Loneliness and pain stretch us more than we really want, but since it is part of life, we need to have coping skills down before these times come.
Remembering Scripture is essential as well as a good support system. Knowing we are not alone goes a long way in helping us cope.
Our final season
Many people avoid thinking about the end of life because it scares them. I get it. There are so many unknowns involved.
Fortunately, we can learn from many of those who have gone on before us. Some have left a legacy in the stories of their last days.
I have found these two stories especially encouraging, taking a lot of the mystery out of the end of life.
The final season from a retired person’s perspective
Donna was one of those we can learn from. She was so focussed on how other people were doing she almost forgot about her own struggle.
At one point she had an encounter with Jesus which completely erased her fears.
Finding peace in terminal illness is Donna’s beautiful story.
The final season from a young person’s perspective
Brooklyn is another beautiful soul who was in hospice at age 24. She knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that she was going to be with Jesus when she took her last breath.
Her story is remarkable. On Facebook she let people follow her journey as she shared what it is like to be terminally ill, but emotionally safe in the arms of Jesus. Her story will encourage you whether you are in your last days or not.
Brooklyn left this world to meet Jesus face to face on March 1st, 2022. The last post by her family read, “Brooklyn is home.”
Don’t miss “Brooklyn’s Journey Home.”
Just about the time we have things figured out and life is predictable, everything changes. And with most changes comes a change in our emotional season of life.
Coping with our changing circumstances as well as our feelings about them is not always easy. But we can find help in Scripture and a good support system. We don’t have to be alone in this journey we call life.
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