Seasons and times: they teach us what the Word tells us, that there is a time for everything.
We often look at spring as the beginning and winter as the end of the seasons, but the lining up of the seasons with creation and nature demonstrates that winter actually represents the beginning, a time of hibernation and incubation when everything appears cold, dreary, and desolate–sometimes dismally vacuous. But underneath the barrenness, in actuality, there is life! Like a pregnancy waiting to be birthed, beneath the surface, beneath the freeze, winter is active. When it looks like nothing is happening, it is in actuality the time when the greatest ground in morphogenesis is covered.
The life cycle of the butterfly illustrates this concept beautifully as it shows us that the most pivotal, developmental stages of the egg and most of the pupal stage are hidden and accomplished within dark and cramped confines. During these stages, changes are occurring and processes are being refined. These processes are so critical to the final emergence of the mature butterfly, that to attempt to shorten or externally facilitate the timeline of the process–either through sympathy, desperation, impatience, or any other preemptive emotional stimuli or actions–may result in the termination and abortion of the life that is being incubated.
The next season is spring. Spring may be likened to the emerging of the chrysalis, the great thaw, the “coming out.” It’s unarguably the most exciting of all the seasons, a time of release from confinement or custody, a time to unveil that which has been ensconced; it is a flowering. Ultimately, spring is the most awe- inspiring part of the seasons of life as this is the time when the most dramatic visible changes occur, a sharp divide between apparent barrenness and fruitfulness.
Then comes summer: the Butterfly stage. This is a time of blooming, vividness, and abundance. Truly, summer’s bounty is the cornucopia of life. The thesaurus offers the following synonyms for
summer: heyday, prime, acme, zenith, efflorescence, flowering, blossoming, fructification (www.thefreedictionary.com). Summer is when movement is the fastest, colors are the brightest, and sounds are the most intense. The passing of time is barely perceptible, obscured by the flurry of constant activity. If pollination and seed gathering are not accomplished at this time, the stage will not be set up for an encore. This is the season in which spices of the past, present, and future are mixed together in vivid kaleidoscopic abundance. It is, however, also a time of planning and execution for the continuance of life. Summer is a time to “seize the day”.
Then finally autumn brings different hues that are no less vibrant. The sunset of life which–contrary to the concept of fizzling out–is depicted by nature as a fiery blaze of glory, the season of the golden hues. Autumn is a time of harvesting and reaping, a time of reward, synchronous in nature, an allegorical representation of the symbolic. Note that I do not refer to this season as fall. Originally, this term was used to depict the falling of leaves, portraying a decline (a function which I do not believe it was meant for). Rather, autumn is a release for the next season, a preparation for the time to come.
For a life to come into being, there must be copulation, fertilization, embryogenesis, fetal maturation–all unseen. Then the seen breaks forth with birth, growth, development–physical, mental, spiritual and sexual–and again, copulation. The cycle of life continues, with each stage having its time. So, live it! It’s called your life! Your pace may be different from mine, and your summer may be my winter, but we all go through the seasons. The most important message is to celebrate whatever stage you are in. Own it. Let the Creator’s timeline be yours also. There is a time for everything, and whether the season is summer, winter, springtime, or harvest, know that everything has its time.
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.”
“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.”
Why do I write this? I write because I perceive that many, like I, have come into, have gone through, or are in a winter season of their life. I write to encourage you that though
no eye has yet seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man what is brewing within you, God knows, for He is the one working within you (Phil 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure). Begin; start; commence; come into being, and come into existence; arise; see the light of day; give birth; shine and prosper. Your time is coming. It is here. The butterfly emerges; new life begins.
Excerpted from The Voice of One Woman, Xulon Press 2012.
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