Trusting God During Transitions
Day 1 of 9: For Everything There Is a Season
In life, there is a time for everything: joys, tribulations, laughter, and sorrow. It is all a part of God’s perfect plan for us.
“For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)
In my garden stands a unique looking chestnut tree. Its foliage forms an upside-down heart shape, which gives it a most striking appearance. It has become a part of my morning ritual to drink my coffee outside and admire the chestnut tree’s beauty.
Additionally, observing the tree’s seasons provides me with a natural calendar with which l can mark cyclic changes in my own life: In summer, l associate the large, succulent green leaves with sunny days and balmy evenings grilling in our garden; in autumn, the metamorphosis of brilliant greenery into hues of russet, yellow, and brown reminds me that the time for wearing thicker layers and drinking spicy pumpkin lattes has once again arrived.
After being diagnosed with burnout and depression three years ago, this past autumn has been particularly memorable: It was the first time since my diagnosis that I had felt the dark clouds of despair and fear that had hung over me finally lift.
However, the advent of winter brought with it a renewed season of health problems. Depression and anxiety returned, leaving me physically weak and emotionally drained. My contact with the outside world was severely restricted, as I felt too fragile to leave my home.
During this period, the chestnut tree’s limbs lay bare and unprotected at the mercy of the bitter cold, ice, and snow. Frequently, I looked earnestly at the tree for signs of the slightest burgeoning of green sprouts, but like my health problems, the winter days continued, and the tree bore no signs of change.
In my frustration and despair, l clung to God during this barren season. l delved into His Word and focused more on what He told me, rather than being burdened with negative doctor’s reports. I strengthened my body by visiting the gym and changing my nutrition.
Slowly, things started to get better. My body became stronger, and my mind more tranquil. l was able to start attending church regularly and even joined a service team.
The other morning, as I sat in my garden, I saw that the chestnut tree had miraculously transitioned from winter to spring overnight: The tree was no longer bare, but was now clothed in a brilliant plumage of fresh, virescent greens.
Just as the Creator of heaven and earth had revived the chestnut tree, so God had revived my body and soul. The changing of seasons has taught me that God has a perfect plan for my life and that He is using transitions to fulfill His promises of peace and welfare, by strengthening my faith and trust in Him.
I am grateful for the lesson of trusting God in every season through the presence of a heart-shaped chestnut tree.
Merciful Father, help us to understand that there is a time for everything; seasons are a part of Your perfect plan for us. We need not fear as we go through transitions, for You are with us and lead us to a fulfillment of Your promises over our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.