Each year we observe the changing seasons around us, whether it’s new-born lambs or budding flowers in Spring, the warmer days and longer nights of summer, falling leaves and heavier coats in Autumn, or the colder weather and greater darkness of Winter. All of these phases represent signs of seasons changing around us. In our environment, change is inevitable.

Just as the seasons of a year come and go, we are also guaranteed seasons in our life too. Some seasons are expected and welcomed, some may be unexpected or even unwelcome, but our challenge is learning to navigate these seasons and continuing forward no matter what circumstances arise around us.

As a couple declare the vows of marriage on their wedding day, they take into account that there will inevitably be changing circumstances and shifting seasons ahead of them. Whether it will be sickness or health, for better or worse, or in riches or poverty, the marrying couple are promising that no matter what lies ahead for them, they will continue to honour, love and live with one another for the rest of their days.

So to with the people of God. We look ahead into the unknown abyss unsure about the specifics but certain about the reality of suffering and joy, challenges and opportunities, illness and death. In this curious mix of known uncertainty, we face it with the desire to continue to honour, love and live for God for the rest of our days.

Perhaps it isn’t a question of what things will change in our lives, but actually a question of what things will remain in our lives. In the changing seasons of life, what will we prioritise and what will we cling on to. Tim Keller writes that “far more importance than any seasonal adjustments are the things we do in season and out of season: pray, preach, break bread, sing, teach, serve the poor, baptise, love. Although sowing is easier in April than in December, the requirement to do them does not change.”

Solomon recognised the changing circumstances of life as he wrote Ecclesiastes 3. He acknowledged times of mourning and weeping, but also laughter and joy. He referred to destruction and death, mingled with healing and birth. However, in Solomon’s wisdom he also pointed to two great truths in verse 11 that would never change. Firstly, that no one can fathom the ways of God, and secondly, that God would make everything beautiful in its time.

In whatever season you are facing right now, may you cling on to that truth.