Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 14:17b – He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons. (NIV)
I love living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a corner of the United States that enjoys four full seasons. I emphasize four seasons because there are varying lengths and kinds of seasons around the globe. When God created the universe, He established day and night, days, years — and seasons as markers of time.
Genesis 1:14 – Then God said, "Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years." (NLT)
Let's liken these four (typical) seasons in nature to the seasons in a person's life, dividing a lifespan into four segments:
- Spring — Ages 0-25 (Youth — birth and early growth)
- Summer — Ages 25-50 (Early adulthood — maturation and full strength)
- Autumn — Ages 50-75 (Late adulthood — slowing down and preparing for the end of life)
- Winter — Ages 75-100 (Old age — closing out life's cycle)
Comparing the seasons of life to the cycle of the earth's seasons is apt. Seasons bring variety to the world around us, just as progressing age brings variety to life. Each season has a beginning, a period of maturation, and an ending. So does each period of a person's life. Earth's seasons circle around and around again, repeating year after year. Mankind's seasons of life, however, move from one to the next without repetition, each season leading inexorably to the next. It is impossible to reverse or rearrange the order of these seasons of life. Once started, the life cycle is unstoppable — until the time for death comes to everyone. Those who have eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, however, can look forward to a fifth season — one that will never end. Heaven will follow the normal cycle of seasons of life and is an incomparable blessing to look forward to.
God has embedded this sequential pattern into creation and into human life. We ought to be mindful as we move through the seasons of life, using each to its best advantage. Youth's strength and vigour will pass, but wisdom and experience will come into play as people move into their later years.
Proverbs 20:29 – The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. (NLT)
Changes in life are desirable, and the aging process is essential. We should not go through life looking over our shoulder at the past, grieving for what is no longer attainable. Each approaching season will have its purpose and should be joyfully anticipated. For a Christian, the best is always yet to come!
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, we are grateful for the systematic sequence of life that You have established for creation and humanity. May we use our days and our seasons of life wisely and well, embracing change without regret — and looking ahead to living forever with You. Amen.