On Seasons and Expectations

Manna for Melancholy Devotional

Our Father is always working to spring forth a new thing we cannot yet perceive.
Ecclesiastes 3:4-8 cautions us to remember that life lived under the sun comes in seasons—the pleasant and painful, alike. No season is “wrong” when its turn is summoned—these are rhythms to life, not interruptions of it. They each have their purposes, pleasures, pains, or pressures, and we'll either trust God with all of them (Psalm 31:15) or become crushed by the failure to adjust our expectations (Proverbs 16:9).

Whatever season we find ourselves in, the Scriptures tell us that our Father is always working to spring forth a new thing we cannot yet perceive (John 5:17, Isaiah 43:19). Yet, sometimes our inability to perceive the road ahead causes us to become hopeless or fearful. When this happens, Author Zack Eswine encourages “that the way forward in our seasons is not found in rehearsing what we do not know, but in remaining faithful to what we do.”

Jesus knew the seasons of his life on earth were ordained. "My time has not yet come," he said (John 2:4, John 7:6, John 7:30). "My time is at hand," he later proclaimed (Matthew 26:18). His sensitivity to the times is sage wisdom for us. But more than wisdom, Jesus’s experiential knowledge of our times under the sun ushers in divine hope.

In Christ, we have a high priest who himself traversed the entire spectrum of seasons, and promises to walk through them with us (Matthew 28:20).

Eswine comforts, “We are learning that whatever time it is, Jesus is there with us.” There with us—God with us. Our Savior chose to step down into life under the sun. Christ volunteered to lay aside his crown for a season. He obediently drank the cup of wrath when his time had come. He victoriously conquered death and rose again when three days passed. He offers new life with those who put their trust in him for salvation eternal.

Our times are bound up in his, that we may learn how to abound in every season: through him who strengthens us.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13 NLT