I grew up with palm trees overhead and flip-flops on my feet, even on Christmas. After eighteen years of summer year-round, I moved twelve hours north. Fall doesn’t arrive here until mid-November, but it does arrive, and there’s a 100% chance you’ll find me gushing over hues of red and maroon, school bus yellow and bright orange. I’ll happily put on a scarf every morning, stir soup on the stove in the afternoon, and light a pumpkin or cinnamon candle in the evening.
What I’m saying is that I’m nearly thirty-years-old, but yes, I will pull the car over just to get a picture of the leaves changing and clap my hands at the first snowfall. What’s normal to others feels like magic to me, shimmering like a filter and covering even the most ordinary of moments with delight.
The thing about seasons, though, is that they always come and go. Even as I stare in wonder at the glorious colors, I know that in a matter of days or weeks, the leaves are going to fall, crinkling and floating down, only to be crunched right before snow makes its arrival.
The hours of daylight are already shrinking. What is so beautiful and vibrant will die as winter slides in, covering the colors with a chill. Spring will eventually arrive and flowers will bloom, but there’s no way around it — we have to walk through winter first.
At the close of 2018, years before the word “pandemic” was part of our regular vocabulary, I wrote “Truth to Hold onto When Everything is Changing.” In many ways, the last two years have felt like one long winter with brief glimpses of the hope of spring, the joy of summer, and the beauty of fall. Nothing is changing and everything is changing, somehow at the very same time.
As we prepare for an external winter around us while experiencing an extended internal winter within us, I’ve found myself returning to the truth that has been a constant and a comfort through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
God is a God of seasons, the One who keeps time and is outside of time all at the same time. He will not be rushed, and He will not be late — but He will be faithful. He is the God who comes to us and stays with us and who cannot be confined to a calendar page.
As Charles Spurgeon said, “The seasons change and you change, but the Lord abides evermore the same, and the streams of His love are as deep, as broad and as full as ever.”
This is the promise in every season: God is unchanging, and His love for us does not waver.
And this unchanging One? He could have come on any day at any time. He’s the hope of spring, the joy of summer, and the beauty of fall . . . and yet He chose the winter.
After four hundred years of silence, in the bitter cold and the dark of night, Light broke through. The Creator held by human hands that He created, swaddled in a manger. Angels proclaiming good news for all. Shepherds searching on the outskirts of town. A long-ago promise fulfilled.
Hope. Joy. Beauty. Right there, even in the winter.
As the calendar pages turn and the seasons shift, may we hold tightly to the One who doesn’t change, who walks with us through the silence of winter until new life arrives. The Promise Maker is a Promise Keeper, and He isn’t going anywhere — Emmanuel, God with us in every season.
A Blessing for the Changing of the Season:
In every high and every low, may we remember that we do not walk alone. There is grace for each moment in a Guide who makes a way and a Friend that stays beside. The seasons may change, but His love will remain the same. Instead of holding our breath in fear or dread, may we breathe in His abundant grace and breathe out trust in the Keeper of time. May we trust the unknown of the future to the One we know is authoring its pages. And with our hands open and eyes fixed, may we rest and remember: For everything there is a season, and the unchanging God will be with us in every one.