One aspect of our five or so years living on the island of Stronsay in Orkney that took me a wee while to adjust to, was the way you could experience the weather of all four seasons – plus an added few not in the calendar – on one and the same day!
Spiritual life has its seasons as well. I read a couple of words describing life in a beautiful book called “Hebridean Altars” a few days; “changeful way…” It led me to put a couple of thoughts on Facebook today which I repeat here in my blog.
In my darkest season, quite a few years ago now, God made promises to me and showed me the process by which they would come about. They were very clear. He fulfilled them all. His voice lacked hype. It was just a plain forth-telling of the difficulties and opportunities that were about to break upon me. He spoke of suffering that it was His will I endure and fruit that would come from it. He asked not for great faith to clear the former out of the picture nor complicated processes to ensure the latter. He just asked for my “Yes, Lord.” Nothing more than that and more specifically a “Yes, Lord,” to this: His delight in me, regardless of human favour or its lack had to be sufficient for me. He asked me to offer my acceptance without the need for any further explanation of that point. I had such a strong sense that on that occasion, unlike other occasions, asking for further explanation would not be favourably regarded. Just saying what I experienced. I am sharing in this way that so I can say this: Not one of the Lord’s good promises has failed.
While I am taking about seasons, here is something else I found myself thinking today: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places,” and “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord” are in the same song book. Actually quite often it is right that we find ourselves not singing from the same hymn sheet. May God help us to live our season well. “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. “ (James 5: 13 – 15.)
Let’s not demand others live in the same season as we may be in. Don’t be a party pooper of their joy, or be annoyed when their sadness rains on your parade. Try as best to encoruage them in their season even as you live your own. “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.”Remember too, seasons come and seasons go. Each season has its own blessing and can yield beauty in its time. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Oh yes, that phrase, “Changeful Way…” Let me finish with the beautiful prayerful expression of freindship and trust from which these words come:
“Saviour and Friend, how wonderful art Thou! My companion upon the changeful way, The comforter of its weariness.My guide to the Eternal town. The Welcome at its gate.”