"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1
- A season of growth and beauty, and what growth comes without battles? Like the storms of spring where winter and summer battle for control.
- A season of warm contentment following the battle.
- A season of closure and peace and preparation, like fall.
- A season of dormancy, as though nothing is happening, when God seems silent in a period of waiting that can at times be stormy and cold. But also a time of rest from growth.
All of those seasons reveal God's handiwork in our lives, if we are willing to believe and to look and see.
Even as I look at my battle with cancer, I see this truth.
My fervent prayer in the fall of 2020 was to know God, was to have God reveal Himself to me in a mighty and powerful way. I wanted more than anything to know the deep, deep love of God.
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19
The 'spring' of this 'year in Christ'. When God made clear His presence, I wondered what He would have in store for me.
In the dead of the winter of 2020 and 2021, I walked in the warmth of contentment found in the summer of this 'year in Christ' pattern. I assumed a trial would be coming that would bring a harvest of knowledge of God, but at the time rested in the confidence that God would be there.
Then, with one 'hurricane of life' announcing the entrance of fall like those hurricanes coming off the Gulf of Mexico that so often frequent late August and September, I found the lump of cancer and thought I knew what God had been preparing me for.
Probably seems odd to think of that discovery as the 'fall'. But there it was. It would be a long fall. A time of preparation for the winter of life. The trials that come with chemo and then surgery and then another round of chemo (I chose not to do radiation). Yet, in those trials the constant presence of God, comforting, speaking, revealing Himself.
And then the sharp decline of health that had me thinking of my mother's last months and what she suffered and was this also mine? I can't deny that I thought that. Never had I known such fatigue and loss of desire to do the things I love. Winter must be coming in with a blizzard.
For the past few months, I kept saying to myself, one more month and it will be all done. But that 'one more month, had stretched into three more months of tests and appointments. And yet, I find myself again saying...
One more month of doctor's appointments and tests, and Lord willing, I'm through for awhile. I'll be able to enter into that period of dormancy, of rest that comes with hibernation...well, perhaps I won't really be hibernating, but there does come a peace and rest when trials are passed that I'm sure is like an animal's winter hibernation. And, from past life experiences, a time when God may seem quiet...maybe like the stillness of a cold, yet bright winter morning--beautiful in its own way.
It's just a picture. Just a way of looking at God's workings in our lives. Just a way of reminding ourselves that when we trust God, we know that in His perfect timing, 'this too shall pass'.
"Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am....O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more." Psalm 39:3-4,13