When I was younger, I equated fall with death. Things seemed to die and it made me sad. We were gardeners and the produce bounty would diminish as the plants got skinny and brown. My favorite ash tree would shed its leaves and look barren. Our grass would turn brown and many of the birds we loved to watch would speed away. Then I learned the truth about fall.
Fall is the beginning of a season of slumber. I thought the trees were dying but in reality all their power and energy was sinking back down into the trunk of the tree where it was conserved until it was needed to spur new growth in the spring.
And while the leaves were falling off and “dying” they were really creating matter for new growth. Leaves insulate the ground and protect small plants. They decompose making for rich nutritious food for new life.
Just like nature, our Creator provided us with a way to recharge. We all need time to conserve our resources so that we can regenerate and be ripe for new growth from a cell level to a spiritual one.
Just like nature, we have seasons of mass productivity and then other seasons where we seem stilted or stifled in our growth. But just like the stillness of growth in winter, our winter season can be productive in a different way. And just like the work unseen in winter, God can work in us in our unseen places.
When we begin to feel we are not being productive or “making a difference” we need to look inside to see if maybe something else is going on down deep. God might be setting us aside so that he can birth something in us or restore us from a wound.
If we suspect we are there, the first thing to do is wait and pray. Don’t rush it. Pray for wisdom and direction. Embrace the stillness. Don’t move forward until there’s a tugging from the Creator. We’ve all seen what happens to plants when there is an early thaw followed by the remainder of winter. Buds that thought they were ready for spring, encased in ice and snow meet their demise. So give it time. Don’t rush the spring.
To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose
under the heavens
For an additional resource on this concept I recommend the book “anonymous” by Alicia Britt Chole – it is an amazing look at the journey of growth in those seasons where we seem invisible. It provides encouragement for embracing the pause.
To see how my family embraced winter by camping check out The Kissed by the Creator Photo Page
Point to Ponder: Where are you? Are you in a hidden season? If not, what growth would you like to see in your life?