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Life’s Many Seasons

Many years ago, several friends described the beauty of Seattle, Washington, and encouraged me to visit. That February, I was invited to participate in a weeklong conference held in that area. I was excited to see the Space Needle, the incredible architectural buildings, and Mount St. Helens. As a kid, I remember when Mount St. Helens spewed ash all over the Pacific Northwest, clear into my home state of Montana.

When I landed, I was shocked about how dreary the city looked. The weather was rainy, foggy, and miserably cold. This was hardly the picture I had in mind when I accepted the invitation to travel there. I don't believe the sun peaked through clouds for more than a few hours the entire time I visited. I remember wondering why anyone would think this depressing, gloomy place was so beautiful.

When I arrived back in Atlanta, I shared my disappointment about the trip with a colleague, who laughingly informed me that I had visited in the wrong season. After explaining that it takes dark, rainy days in winter to formulate the beautiful days of spring and summer, he suggested that I give Seattle another chance by visiting in the summer when I could truly experience its beauty.

Two years later, I had another opportunity to visit Seattle. This time, I was traveling for a three-day conference in June, and what a difference a few months made. The sun was bright, people were jogging, and the sights I longed to see were clear and evident in the distance. The rain seemed like a distant memory, and the smell of fireplaces was replaced with the sweet smell of flowers and Starbucks coffee.

America has experienced a very challenging winter thus far, enduring divisive senate elections, spikes in COVID-19, and an unpredictable stock market, but spring is on the horizon. While it may seem bleak now, soon barren Zoysia fields will transition into plush green yards, daisies will pop out with luscious blooms, and birds will once again chirp.

Life has many seasons, and regardless of how challenging the year has been in certain circumstances, our Father in heaven is not surprised or caught off guard. In fact, he may actually orchestrate the clouds of life to ensure we appreciate the beautiful gifts that appear. As the rain and fog subside, "then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit," (Leviticus 26:4).

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