The Seasons of Life
By Lynne Tagawa
It’s September, and here in South Texas the month is still hot, but at least I can savor the name of the month in my mind as a promise of cooler temperatures to come. Fall follows summer, the change of seasons as certain as they have been since God promised Noah that one season would follow another until the end.
We have seasons, too. One season I call “baby season.” We raised four sons, and I think for the better part of a decade my life revolved around diapers and toddler messes. It’s a season with unique trials but unique joys, too. Now, as a grandmother, I wonder how I did it.
Elisabeth Elliot, author of Let Me Be a Woman, served God single, married, widowed, single again, and married. She was a mother, too. She knew every season of life, and wrote essays to her daughter Valerie from this vantage point. Perhaps this is one of the reasons older women are commanded in Scripture to teach the younger. We’ve been there before.
There are spiritual seasons, too. Have you ever read the book of Job? This man was righteous and prosperous. He worshiped God every day and prayed for his children. You may have experienced times like this, times of smooth sailing in your walk with God. Then the tide turned, as it did for Job.
God had something to teach Job that he couldn’t have learned otherwise. In the closing chapters we hear Job lament, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”
Job learned something of the nature of God and the grace of God through this trial. God does not afflict “willingly,” we learn from the Scriptures. If you walk through a dry or dark time, there is a purpose. According to the apostle Peter, if we suffer, it is because it is necessary. (1 Pet. 1:6)
Occasionally we travel through rough places because of our own sin or waywardness. Christian, in Pilgrim’s Progress, was walking on a difficult road. He spied an easier path just inside a fence. How nice to walk on soft meadow grass! But the end of that path was Doubting Castle and the Dungeon of Despair, guarded by a giant.
Oh no—but even in dungeons of our own making, God is gracious. Christian plucked out the key of promise and it turned every lock in Doubting Castle. All things do work together for our good and God’s glory. Our foibles do not surprise God nor stymie His plans for us.
In my historical novel, The Shenandoah Road, my character John Russell goes through some hardship. Some of his dark seasons are of his own making, too. But of course you already knew that the best heroes have feet of clay.
Lynne Tagawa is an author, editor, educator, and best of all, grandma to four. She loves to write quality fiction with solid gospel content. Her debut novel, A Twisted Strand, is contemporary romantic suspense, but she thinks she’s found a true home in historical fiction. Currently she’s writing the sequel to The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening. You can connect with her here.
Lynne is giving away a print or eBook copy of her book! (Reader’s choice-see rules below). Simply leave a comment below to be entered. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
John Russell’s heart aches from the loss of his wife, but the Shenandoah Valley frontiersman needs to marry again for his daughter’s sake. At first he believes he has found the right young woman, despite their differences in background, but his faith falters when time reveals she isn’t quite what she seemed. Can he truly love her? And what about his own failings?
Unlike her disgraced sister, Abigail Williams obeys the Commandments. At least, she thinks herself a Christian until a buckskin-clad newcomer courts her. He treats her kindly but also introduces her to a sermon by the controversial preacher, George Whitefield. Her self-righteousness is shattered, and she wonders about their relationship. If she confesses her lack of faith, will John continue to love her?
THE FINE PRINT: CONTEST VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. ONLY US RESIDENTS WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A PAPERBACK COPY. EACH COMMENTER IS ASSIGNED A NUMBER AND THE WINNER IS DRAWN USING RANDOM.ORG. WINNERS WILL HAVE TWO WEEKS FROM THE DATE OF THE DRAWING TO CLAIM THEIR PRIZE.