By Glenna Marshall
Staff Writer for The Daily Grace Co.
Summer seems to run long in southern Missouri where I live. It shows up early and stays too late, like that one party guest who can’t seem to take a hint that we’re ready to call it a night. I took a walk early this morning and noted the change in scenery. Just a month ago, the air was still thick with humidity, and the leaves remained firmly attached to the trees. This morning the sidewalk was littered with the beginnings of fall, and I watched the sun rise through red-tinged trees.
I’ve wondered many times why the Lord lets us experience the changing of seasons. Couldn’t He have just given us one perpetual season? Why not spring all the time? Or fall, forever? When seasons change, I contemplate the process. Why do we cycle through life and death in the created world every year? What could God be teaching us in the changing of seasons?
The changing of seasons reminds us that God is sovereign over all things.
My weekly planner is usually filled to the edges with reminders and notes of things to do, meetings to attend, projects to finish, phone calls to make, emails to send. I can get to the end of the week and feel either elated or crushed by my level of productivity. Either way, I tend to live like I’m in charge of my life and everything I touch. But I’m not. I need rest and help like every other person because I cannot hold everything together. There is only One who is sovereign, and it’s not me.
The changing of seasons reminds us that we are not in control. “For [God] says to the snow, ‘Fall to the earth,’ and the torrential rains, his mighty torrential rains, serve as his sign to all mankind, so that all men may know His work” (Job 37:6-7). We can’t add things to our calendars that will have any bearing on the shift from summer to fall. Nothing in our abilities can tell the snow clouds to release their flakes in winter. We might bemoan the frigid temperatures in February or bask in the warmth of a May morning, but we can’t give the earth instructions. That ability belongs only to God who “changes the times and seasons; he removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21).
God brings about the changes in season because He created the seasons. The Creator sovereignly holds all things together. We are relieved of any pretense that we’re in control. Snowstorms, spring blossoms, fall temperatures—they’re His. He holds the entire physical universe together, so you can be sure He is sovereignly in control of your life, too. It’s not too much for Him. As we watch the seasons change, we can be comforted by the fact that the One who made everything is still in control of everything.
The changing of seasons reminds us that Christ will return.
We will cycle in and out of seasons until Christ returns and makes all things new. As the changed appearances of nature signify the changing of seasons, we can observe the times around us and know that each day we are a little closer to seeing Christ face-to-face. Jesus said it this way: “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that he is near—at the door…Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:32-25).
Jesus will return; His Word is sure. As the trees bud, blossom, bear fruit, and rest, so should we remain confident in His promises to us. His Word will far outlast the seasons of this old world. He will return for us.
The changing of seasons reminds us of God’s faithfulness.
I always think summer will never end, but then one day it does. It always does. I voiced this to my husband the other day, and he laughingly asked, “When Has God ever failed to change the seasons?” Though my patience for fall wears thin by September, God has never failed in His job as Creator and Sustainer. He is ever faithful in all that He does.
The prophet Isaiah helps us see how the regular changing of seasons points to God’s resolute faithfulness. “For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do” (Isaiah 55:10-11). God will always keep His promises to us—whether to save those who call on Him, to love us with an everlasting love, to always be with us, or to grow us in godliness. When we watch the flowers bloom in spring or the snow fall in winter, we can know that more certain than the ebb and flow of the seasons is God’s constant faithfulness.
He who upholds the earth with its rotations and revolutions is also deeply committed to saving a people for Himself, sanctifying them, and bringing them to live in His kingdom forever. If He is faithful with the weather and the created world, how much more will He be faithful to redeem His people and preserve them until they go to be with Him?
We might be more inclined to see God’s faithfulness and sovereignty in the beauty of spring, but we can also look to the humidity of summer, the crispness of autumn, and the ice of winter, knowing that God is sovereign and faithful, and Jesus will keep His promise to come for us.