I’ve always enjoyed living in a place where there are four distinct seasons of the year. I can feel the warmth of the sun, this afternoon, as sunlight shines through the windows in my office. My wife and I took our bicycles to a local repair shop this week for an annual Spring tune-up because we know that Winter has passed and warmer days are just around the corner. The flowers of Springtime will soon blossom; and then, they will disappear as the Summer heat returns. And then, shorter and colder days will prompt the leaves to change color again, before they’re swept away by brisk Winter winds.
But, many people in the world don’t experience the seasons of the year in the same way as I do in Pennsylvania. Rainy seasons send the flooding rains upon tropical forests in some areas. Deserts can be parched by the sun for more than a year before a swiftly moving torrent of rain is absorbed by the sand. The Nile River runs deep and wide during rainy seasons, and parts of it almost disappear when the rains stop. And I was thinking about that, today, as I reflected upon the Biblical “watercourses of the Negev” that are described by the writer of Psalm 126.
Our lives blossom and bloom in some seasons. But our lives can seem very dry—even parched—at other times. We have times, even in our lives of prayer and devotion, when God seems very close to us; but, I’m sure that we’ve also experienced times when God seemed far away—even disconnected from us.
But, today, the psalmist reminds us that God’s faithful in every season of the year—and of life. God’s with us when our lives unfold in new and exciting ways, but God’s also with us—sometimes in a very different way—when life’s tough. Dry times in our lives—times of darkness and discouragement—can open our eyes to an even deeper awareness of God’s presence; and the times of abundant blessings and peace can create moments in life when we feel most distant from God and self-sufficient.
But, seasons change. The psalmist reminds us that times of abundance are followed by times of drought. Times spent in the midst of a parched desert will come to an end when soothing rains fall from Heaven and when life returns.
Life, you might say, is lived in “cycles.” We need to live our lives knowing that times of growth and abundance can quickly end. But we can, also, live in faith knowing that our times of parched dryness and even death will end as well.
Psalm 126 calls us to faith in the Season of Resurrection. Psalm 126 reminds us that seasons of prosperity and worldly abundance can quickly end, and times of resurrection and newness of life often emerge from the ashes of a desperate situation.
God walks with us in every season—calling and inviting us to move from death to life. God journeys with us in every season—calling us to remember that He’s close to us in times of abundance, and calling us to experience an even deeper sense of His presence when our lives become dry.
Now it’s your turn to join the conversation:
Are you living in a “season of great abundance” or in a “season of parched dryness” at this point in your life? How would you describe what’s happening in your life?
Where are you experiencing God’s presence in your life?
Do the psalmist’s words offer an encouraging word to you, or do these words seem to come from the lips of a prophet of doom? Would you hear them differently if you were traveling through a different season of life?
How can being reminded that seasons change help you to navigate through a world where you are sometimes richly blessed and where you can also experience difficult times when life seems dry?