The other day I sat quietly in my backyard, and watched leaves fall from the trees. I noticed birds filling themselves at the feeders, and then flying to limbs where few leaves remained. I was reminded of Jesus’s words: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt. 6:26)

In my quiet time, I was reminded that there are many seasons in our lives, and was comforted that my life is in a changing season, and this is God’s purpose. “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl 3:1) God intends for us to grow, change and to let go of things for His purpose. The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s timing. The danger is to doubt or resent God’s timing, which can lead to despair, rebellion, or moving ahead without His advice.

I don’t like cold weather, but God has a purpose for every season in our lives, and we must adapt as we keep our focus on Him and eternity. As winter descends, trees in temperate and boreal zones face punishingly cold temperatures and frigid winds, conditions that would damage leaves, so trees have to reduce themselves to their toughest parts—stems, trunks, branches, bark. Leaves must fall. “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” (Eccl 3:10-11)

We live in a sinful world, and because of that, we often have to endure painful seasons in life, but that does not mean our pain is meaningless. Many times throughout the Bible, God took an evil thing and used it for good, and He still does this today. He can take a season of suffering and use it to open our eyes to the suffering of others. He can use a season of death and remind us of the beauty in life. He can take a season of sorrow, and draw us closer to Him as He encourages us, and reminds us all seasons soon come to an end. My part is to trust Him and His guidance and be thankful for what He brings my way, trusting His way is better than mine. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Col 3:15)

I was reminded that the Lord is bringing one season to a close in my life, but that with it He is also bringing a new spring. Like trees in winter, I am to reduce myself to my toughest parts to survive until spring arrives. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Col. 2:6-7) I am to make certain my roots are strengthened in the Lord.

He is calling me to not only strengthen my roots of faith in Him, but also to let go of all that keeps me from being rooted and grounded in Him, so that I can absorb His characteristics as He pours Himself into me. Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)