We always have a chuckle when I welcome new neighbors into our condo community. Many of them are relocating to the sunny south from the snow covered environs of northern America. It's been repeated in this space on many occasions, what I usually tell them about weather in the Lowcountry. That is, we have two seasons down here---summer and February. And, yes, it is February. My walk this morning was wet and cold. It made me hustle through my first 5,000 steps for a dry, warm space on the sofa. February indeed.
Our seasons are an interesting theme in Scripture. The creation account in Genesis 1 gives us brief mention of them.
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate day from
night. And let them be for signs and season, and for days and years, and let them be
lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth. And, it was so.
Genesis 1: 14-15, ESV
So, there is the created earth and the seasons that mark our time here. We know them as spring, summer, fall, and winter. Here in the Lowcountry we are better acquainted with summer and February. You know, sunshine and heat, time on the beach, and warm days on the sofa.
The seasons are also used in a metaphorical sense in Scripture. In many instances they represent the nature of our time in this broken world, the phases of life. Wise Solomon wrote, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3: 1, ESV). Truly our circumstances carry us through some difficult hours, those more trying seasons, and moments of great blessing, the seasons when we more fruitful reality defines us. No doubt we all experience what we would call pleasing times, and just as assuredly those hours that try and challenge us. And, they are mystifying and perplexing, not as predictable as the four earthly seasons. Jesus reminded his disciples after the resurrection, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority" (Acts 1: 7, ESV). We just can't always fathom how or when these life seasons will come. They do surprise us at times.
Timothy is thought to have been a younger ministry partner of the Apostle Paul. He had evidently experienced some criticism because of his age and message. As a pastor for the past forty years I can certainly identify with the frustration he may have felt., the heavy downpours of harsh words in actions. Then, the Apostle Paul wrote to a timely word to him---"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season..." (2 Timothy 4: 2, ESV). That certainly strikes a note for me, the instruction to be prepared all the time. And, it rings my bell on this February morning. My take? There are great moments in life, and some difficult ones as well. Being prepared for each is my daily challenge.
Even on a cold, wet February morning. Be blessed. And, prepared.