Where is God in this Season? | The Salvation Army

You are here

Where is God in this Season?

Unexpected joy in every season.
Flower budding up through ground
Posted October 5, 2011

Winters in London go by like a long, colourless fog. I lived there for four years, and what I remember most about winter was the grey—the sky was grey and endless, meeting seamlessly with grey buildings, and the grey concrete pavement looked just like the sky.

Then one day on my commute to work it snowed. The grimy roads around Camden were transformed into a mythical land of pure, white, breath-taking snow. I remember thinking, ‘So, that’s what winter is for.’ Isn’t it so like God to create something beautiful, unexpected and even whimsical, in the middle of a long, grey season?

Unexpected joy in every season

It seems like the seasons are God’s great metaphor for life. We may feel that we’re in a season of winter if we are struggling, or of spring when we experience joy and renewal. But, even in the depth of our winter seasons, God wants to surprise us with beauty.

One of the stories I find the most moving in the Bible is of the ‘Shunammite woman’ who was childless. Too scared to ask the prophet Elisha for her heart’s desire, her servant blurts it out instead. Elisha made a promise to her, ‘You will hold a son in your arms.’

‘No, my lord!’ she objected. ‘Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!’

What happens next in this story is a series of heartaches and triumphs: she gives birth to a son, but he ends up dying in her arms. She runs to Elisha, saying, ‘I told you not to get my hopes up!’ Elisha goes to the child, breathes life into him again, and her son lives (2 Kings 4).

I love this story because it’s not just about a miracle. It’s also a story of pain so real, that the possibility of hope is unbearable. Yet, it was this pain that allowed that miracle to take place.

In reality, life is rarely all sunshine or all rain. Rather, we laugh and cry and triumph and struggle in equal measure. Sometimes the best question we can ask is, ‘God, where are you in this season?’ We may have to wrestle with God for the answer, and at other times, he will surprise us with a glimpse of his blessing.

Mixed with the blood, sweat and tears of life, are droplets of joy. God has something for you in this season.

By Ingrid Barratt (abridged from War Cry, 8 October 2011, p3)