When I purchased my new home in Virginia at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains it had been vacant for some time. The gardens surrounding the house were extremely overgrown and beyond the point where I could do anything with them.
I decided to start fresh. I had always wanted an English Cottage garden and so I had all the overgrown shrubs ripped out by their roots and started to create a new design in my mind. My new friend Christine, who is a gifted gardener, helped me lay out the plan for my dream.
We designed the beds and went and purchased all the new flowers and shrubs that would be planted.
We labored for days and with some help, finally, I saw my English garden come into fruition.
That summer the new plants rooted, and my yard came alive with new life and new imagination.
I was overjoyed at the results.
It was another piece of the puzzle of my feeling at home in Virginia.
However, fall came and shortly after, winter. My English garden died back and my whole yard went barren and empty before my eyes. There was no life to be seen.
I failed to realize when planting that this type of garden goes completely dormant and desolate during the winter season. There was not even a twig left to remind me of my efforts of the spring.
I understood at that moment that my garden represented my own personal faith.
There are times where I am walking hand and hand with our Savior and my trust and hope in what God is doing in my life is like my garden in the spring. It is strong and rooted and blossoming with the joy that overflows when I am giving everything over to Him. But, there are also a lot of times, I hate to admit, that my faith is like the barren and empty beds of winter. I lack the beauty of what seems in my mind of a faith that is rooted in Christ.
And then Jesus told me, “this is your journey with me.”
He reminded me I will have seasons of growth and seasons of reflection. It represents what He has done in the past and where He is taking me in the future. But, none of them are any less beautiful than the other. There are just lessons along the way in each. Each relevant and each an important part of my story.
They are just seasons.
And, God Himself created the seasons.
Each with its own unique and abundant beauty because everything God creates and maintains cannot be anything but Holy and beautiful.
Now, spring has sprung again. My garden is not only flourishing it has tripled in size from the following year. I can only imagine there is a lesson in that. A lesson for you and a lesson for me.
For God said,
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (my life verse)
The Lord created different seasons in our lives to shape us, help us, and create us into who He intended us to be. He uses seasons to show us that He is good and can “make everything beautiful for its own time” (verse 11). Seasons (good and bad) are ways for God to capture our hearts and our faith.
What does it mean to you?
God will change the season of life you are in when He’s ready to change something about you. There are some more difficult seasons, but The Lord just wants us to trust Him through each & every season. No matter what kind of season you are going through, remember that God always promises to make it beautiful in His time.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Holy Beautiful Life