Seasons. After what seemed like a long winter we finally got a taste of spring. A few days of unseasonably warm days. Windows were finally opened for a bit. People were outside cleaning up yards. Motorcycles were taken out for a spin. Everyone seemed happier. It was a tease for a few days but a welcome one. Each season brings some kind of change. Some “seasons” in our life are brief; others seem like they will never end. Some are welcomed, others dreaded. How do we handle these changes when they are big and not welcomed?
In school this week my students had read about some animals that live in the tundra and taiga where the ground is frozen and it snows a lot. How do they handle the seasonal changes? The arctic fox and the arctic hare are brownish grey in summer and white in winter. Their camouflage helps them to survive. The ptarmigan, an arctic bird, also changes to pure white in the winter but additionally grows stiff feathers between its toes so it can walk on the frozen ground. They can also fly into snow banks and nestle in the snow to sleep and keep warm. By doing this they don’t leave tracks for predators to follow either. The wolverine grows thick fur and has flat paws so it can walk on top of the snow. Other animals like the arctic ground squirrel simply hibernate and sleep the long cold winter away.
Seasonal changes for animals and adaptation. God has equipped animals with ways to adapt in order to survive. Amazing! More amazing is that God has done the same for us humans and we are much more important to Him. “You, beloved, are worth so much more than a whole flock of sparrows. God knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head. So do not fear.” (Matthew 10:30-31 VOICE)
So what are the ways we have been equipped to handle major changes in our lives? I was thinking how different my life become almost overnight one year ago. For me it was a cancer diagnosis. For you it may be a different type of health issue, or a job loss, your marriage, financial woes, or problems with your children. How do we weather the storm or season we are in?
I believe that our survival mode must include prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God and hearing His voice. We need to know what direction to go, what to do, and how to do it. We need to trust God and follow His lead. This is our GPS to get us through it. He has given us the scriptures, His Word, our survival manual. “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG) If we release our burden to God, we are no longer carrying the weight of it. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
We could choose to hibernate from our problems but they would still be there when we “woke up.” They aren’t going to go away while we sleep or try to ignore them; in fact, they would probably get worse. We will never get to the next season until we go through the one we are currently in. Some seasons will be better than others. I find comfort in the fact that if God has equipped animals with ways to survive the seasonal changes and He cares more for me, then I know He has equipped me with what I will need to endure and embrace whatever changes come my way. “We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 GNT) We are not alone. We will survive! Spring is in the air!