It snowed. Again. Shouldn’t winter be over after six months? My brain and my calendar say so, but apparently, reality is saying something different. It sure has been a long season.
As I was reading the account of Joshua in the Bible, I came across a verse where he mentioned to the Israelites that they had dwelled in the wilderness for a long season.1 That season happened to be forty years. The fact was, their poor choices put them there. Forty years of wandering, waiting for the day when the season would end. But although the days were long, and the people were not where they desired to be, or were supposed to be, they were not without God. He led them, protected them, and provided for them. Even when they were angry, discouraged, whiny, and selfish, He kept His promise to see them through their journey to a place of rest, to the time when one season would end, and the next would begin. Sometimes, our seasons are quite long, too. A six-month winter seems like forty years. Day after day of intense grief doesn’t seem like it will ever let up. Chronic illness steals away the prime of our lives, and all the years after that, too. Our bank account is not recovering. The roof over our head is a tent in a refugee camp. Our child is still walking the prodigal road. We messed up. Someone else messed up, and we have to suffer the consequences.
Day after day, our spirits sigh. Day after day, the tears roll down. Day after day we wonder how we are ever going to make it to the finish line intact. Heads forget how to lift. Eyes forget how to look up. Hearts forget how to hope. Minds doubt that the sun will ever shine again. But day after day, God’s presence is there. Day after day, He is on the throne. Day after day, He carries His children, keeping His promise to see them through their journey to a place of rest. No matter the circumstances of our long seasons, God has not left us alone. He does not say He will only walk with us in good times and happy times. He does not say He will only walk with us when everything is going right. He has said He will never leave us or forsake us.2 That means ever. And that means even if the long season never comes to an end, because sometimes it won’t.
So, in the meantime, in the midst of the long seasons, we can rest assured that though a mother may forget her child, God will never forget those who are His.3 Even if the stars should break faith with the sky, He will remain faithful. He is our portion forever.4 We may feel forgotten, but He is aware of every detail. He never slumbers or sleeps.5 His eyes are on those who fear Him, and His ears are open to their cries.6 Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.7 He carries us in His arms, and nothing will ever be able to pluck us from His hand.8
Rest assured that even if nothing ever changes while we walk this earth, it will change when we enter the presence of God. He will give us the strength, peace, hope, and encouragement we need to press on so that we may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of us.9 And when time has come to an end, the seasons will end, and we will be with Him forever.
So, while we are here, let us fulfill our purposes in this season. God has given us gifts to use and opportunities to take. May we not waste these difficult days focused inwardly. This season is part of our story, part of who we are, and part of who we are becoming. God can craft a beautiful masterpiece, if we place the pieces of our lives into His capable hands. Trust His timing and His sovereignty. Trust His power and His abilities. And trust His unwavering love for you; it is there throughout every season.
1 See Joshua 24:7.
2 See Hebrews 13:5.
3 See Isaiah 49:15.
4 See Psalm 73:26.
5 See Psalm 121:4.
6 See Psalm 34:15.
7 See Romans 8:38–39.
8 See Isaiah 40:11 and John 10:28–30.
9 See Philippians 3:12.
©Text and photo Francee Strain, April 24, 2023