Every soul goes through seasons, just like the seasons within a calendar year. Winter, spring, summer, and fall are all seasons of the soul that we encounter. Maybe where you live, you don’t encounter every season outside, but your soul does on the inside. While one person may be in a time of spiritual spring with newness and growth, another may be in a spiritual season of fall where they are starting to prepare for some of the difficulties that may lie ahead. And others may be in a winter where things are silent, challenging, or possibly even painful.
Here are two things I’ve learned regarding seasons of the soul that I’d encourage you to seek out to better understand your own soul. Brother Lawrence, in The Practice of the Presence of God says, “People would be surprised if they knew what their souls said to God sometimes.”
- Don’t Ignore the Seasons
Each of us will all encounter seasons of the soul and all of our Small Group Point People will too, so it’s absolutely paramount to understand what season your soul and those around you are in through prayer and relationship. Spend time this week focusing on that awareness.
Maybe you or someone you lead is encountering spiritual frustration, challenges, or roadblocks in their life, and they cannot hear the voice of God. Someone once said to me, “If you are ever in a place where you need more faith, borrow mine.” Maybe you need to be a conduit of growth because someone you know is ready to bloom in their leadership.
Ministry can’t always be warm, sunny seasons, and I’ve learned that after going through a winter. But, I’ve also come to learn, in light of the New Year, that for every winter, it doesn’t mean that it kills the plants that hibernate beneath the snow. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Just look at the flowers that come back each year. Hostas, Lilies, etc. They are plants that are known for living through the years. They come back ready to bloom.
Pastor Levi Lusko says, “Sometimes it is hard to see the pine trees that are still growing underneath all of the snow.” Mother Theresa understood this well in her years of learning about the silence of God. She says, “In the silence of the heart, God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
2- Don’t Rush the Season
Maybe there’s an element in the current season we are going through that we can’t learn in any other season. Maybe it’s learning about the fact that God always oversees the fruit- whether we can see it or not. Maybe it’s learning that God’s silence is a way that we can better understand Zephaniah 3:17, “He will quiet you by His love.”
If you’ve been able to relate to these seasons of your soul or your leadership, then in 2018, may you know the beauty in the gift of silence. May you grow and develop, regardless of the sight of your current circumstances. May you know that another season is coming.
“The Lord Your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).