This weekend British Summertime ends, which marks a new season of nights drawing in earlier. There is much to look forward to – beautiful autumnal colours, cosy nights in with a roaring fire and, dare I say it already, Christmas...
And yet there are also the added complications of darkness falling more quickly and how that impacts our day-to-day lives (our children, for example, don't like travelling home from school in the dark).
As Christians, we can sense there are different seasons in our walk with God too. Some are much more welcome than others, and we can struggle to accept when such seasons change and evolve into more difficult ones.
I know I have mentioned before that I am walking through what I would deem a prolonged winter season. There are many days when the darkness feels too much to bear; I cling on to God out of desperation – and a certain stubbornness if I'm being totally honest! I can rant and rail at him, and wonder why he doesn't act to alleviate the agony we are experiencing. I feel at the end of myself and at times plead with him to just do something!
Even though it can be excruciating, I have learned to draw comfort from knowing he is close by, even when I don't feel him. I have experienced the building up of my soul as I continue to lead worship through the tears – every time I have felt it is simply too much for me, God has worked in and through me in a significant way.
I have also learned from others who have walked dark paths and chosen to share openly and generously about what has helped them (Katherine Gantlett's book Walking Through Winter, published by Instant Apostle, is the most recent book that I've found helpful).
You may be in a season of bounty and joy, rather than darkness and pain. Whatever season you are currently walking through, as you begin to sense change, here are some helpful questions to ponder:
1. Where have I seen God at work in my current season?
2. Where do I sense God is taking me next?
3. What have I learned in recent months, and what do I need to learn more about?
4. How can I embrace the next season God is walking me towards?
5. Is there a part of me that is reticent to embrace the change? Why might that be?
As our clocks go back this weekend, let's take a moment to pause and reflect on the season we are in with God – offering our prayers of surrender as well as gratitude for the way he is always at work in our lives.