|The Seasons of God: How the Shifting Patterns of Your Life Reveal His Purposes for You|
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What season of life are you in? You may be walking through a springtime of new beginnings--you've just gotten married, or become a grandparent. You could also be in a winter period when things are ending--you're graduating from a life-changing program, moving to a new town, or saying goodbye to dear friends. Whatever your circumstances, it's not about your age, it's about God's purposes for you during that particular time.
In The Seasons of God, best-selling author and pastor Richard Blackaby takes a closer look at the rhythms in life, to discover the wisdom that can be gleaned by recognizing where you fall in the cycle of seasons. Your plans, your relationships, your career, your ministry--all have their unique God-intended moment. You'll begin to discover, as the writer of Ecclesiastes did, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."
|Q: The Blackaby name is familiar to many. Please give us some background on your rich, godly heritage?|
A: I was blessed to be born into a godly heritage. My grandparents on both sides were businesspeople who served the Lord with all their hearts. One grandfather was a bank manager who would start churches on the “side.” The other retired early and became a missionary to Africa. My father, Henry Blackaby, felt called to leave a comfortable church in California and move to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada to lead a church of ten discouraged people. Over the next sixteen years I watched God perform miracles through my parents in that spiritually desolate place. I learned that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ, and that He wants to be actively involved in our lives. My father eventually wrote Experiencing God that has been an international best seller and had been used by God to transforming people’s walk with God.
|Q: Why did you write the book?|
A: I had experienced some things in my life that hadn’t made sense to me. Things everyone goes through but no one talks about. Like why is it we suddenly begin to feel restless and know in our hearts that a change is coming, even when there is no indication of what that is? Or why do certain passions or activities or even relationships in our lives come to an end at times, when they previously brought us such joy? Or why is it that even in our most difficult moments in life, we instinctively sense that a new day is coming? It’s hard to put some of these feelings and experiences into writing. Yet we all experience these moments.
Q: Is there a correlation between the changing seasons in nature and in a person’s life?
A: Yes there is. The same Creator who developed the cycle of earth’s seasons is the same God who created us. We are a part of creation, not distinct from it. So as the same God designed our life, He designed the seasons.
|Just as in Spring, seeds are planted in nature and new life emerges, so there are seasons in our life when it is characterized by newness and fresh beginnings. Likewise, as in autumn there is a harvest from our labors, so inevitably we reap in our lives what we have sown. And, just like Winter, nature withdraws, rests, or even dies, so there are seasons in our lives of withdrawal, rest, and even the death of certain activities and relationships. But then, invariably, there is another Spring that emerges! That is how nature works, and that is how we experience life as well.|
|Q: Please describe what a season might look like in a person’s life?|
A: Spring is the season of beginnings. It is a time of exploration, and the beginning of activities or relationships. It is a time to discover ourselves afresh in the context of a new job, or role in life. Each new stage of our life begins with Spring. So, when we enter school, begin a job, get married, have kids, or retire, we enter the spring season of that new stage of life. We must find our way in that new role. It is invigorating to attempt new things, to learn new skills, and to meet new people. Spring is what makes life so interesting and exciting! It brings us hope to know that regardless of how harsh our last Winter season was there is always another Spring on the horizon!
Q: What are some biblical examples that readers might relate to concerning changing seasons?
A: There are numerous biblical examples of the seasons of life. Abraham, for example, thought his life was set as a farmer in Mesopotamia. Then God came and told him to pack up and to begin a brand new spring season in which he journeyed to a new land God would show him. After several years, this senior adult experienced a new spring when he finally had a son! No matter how old we become, there is always another spring on the horizon.
Likewise there are seasons of summer when we are called to labor at our profession. The twelve disciples were called to follow Jesus. For several years they worked hard, serving Jesus, following Him and learning from Him. The eleven who faithfully worked for Jesus in their Summer, would one day reach Autumn, where they would gather everything they had ever learned or experienced and see an enormous harvest result in their Fall season.
Winter is when certain aspects of our life shut down. Jesus’ ministry ultimately drew to a close. Of course, His crucifixion simply introduced Him into a fresh new Spring season as the risen Savior. King Hezekiah was told he was going to die. Rather than embracing the Winter season in his life, he resisted it, and ultimately brought great grief to his family and his nation.
|Q: How can a reader benefit from understanding changing seasons in one’s life?|
A: Perspective can be everything! Seeing your life from God’s perspective helps you understand what you are going through in your life. When you see the familiar patterns you realize that what you are experiencing is normal. It also gives you hope, for at the end of every difficult season in life is a fresh Spring that holds numerous opportunities. Gaining this perspective also helps you to live fully for today, by embracing each season of your life with gusto as it comes.
|Q: What can readers hope to take away from your book?|
A: Readers will gain a fresh and enlightening view of their life and the way God walks with us throughout life. It will help them make sense of difficult experiences in their life. It will help them make decisions more wisely as they have a seasonal backdrop to the choices they are making. It will help people to see that their life is a part of a grander story of God’s work in the world around them. I pray it will help readers to get the most out of every season of their life.