I know that winter is coming. I can tell because the other day, I got stuck behind a truck while trying to get into the parking garage at church. The truck was delivering snow tires for the car dealership next door. Here in Switzerland, everyone keeps two sets of tires: one for summer and one for winter. By the end of October, it’s challenging to get an appointment in order to have your tires changed. The delivery of snow tires is a sure sign that winter is coming.
There are certain things that signal a change in seasons. If I were back in Canada at the moment, my spare time would be consumed raking leaves. The fall colors of red, orange and yellow are always an indication that winter is on the way. Once we see the signals, we know that we need to start preparing for what lies ahead.
It’s not always so easy to see those signals in our own life, but I am reminded of the writer of Ecclesiastes:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
We can’t control the coming and going of the seasons in our life any more than we can control the seasons of nature. Life is full of ups and downs that we have to navigate. The good news is this: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Whatever season we are in, whatever season is approaching…we take strength and comfort in knowing that God is in control and will work out his purposes for our lives.