“Seasons” can be a helpful term–sometimes. It’s a nice way to refer to our different life situations. Instead of telling a young mom, “Hey, I noticed you have spit-up on your shoulder and a Cheerio stuck to your butt, you can say, “I notice we’re in different seasons!”
Most of us hit a lot of different seasons, or stages, in our lives, and there are specific challenges and blessings that come with each, whether it’s singleness, widowhood, youth, parenthood, the older years, etc.
The tricky part is that we often make them too big of a deal, letting our “season” define us more than who we are in the body of Christ.
I happen to currently be a wife and mom of four kids. I love trading funny stories with my peers and helping each other navigate these years. It’s huge grace in my life, and it’s fun to hang out with a group that “gets” me. But you know who else encourages me–and is nowhere near my season?
My single friend in her 50s. She’s never had kids but puts faith for parenting into me as she shares how faithful God has been to her.
My kids. They see the real me. They are learning the Word of God. Add those two things together and they equal unique insight into my soul.
The older people I work with in The Bridge Course. They’re still working this hard to serve others when they could be reading in the hammock? I’m inspired.
A family friend in his 30s–no kids, no wife, but the exact same longing to follow God in hard places and find his identity in Christ.
All the same truths apply to all of us. We have SO much more in common than we think we do. We all trek towards the Celestial City together. Some of us have kids in tow, some serious careers, some diseases, some loneliness, some wealth, some addictions. Together, we can pull each other out of the swamps, keep each other on the path, remind each other of the goal. We’re all fighting to trust God and battle sin and love Jesus. The specific applications change over time, but the essential needs don’t. I’m a wife and mom, but mostly I’m a Christian needing grace!
When Hebrews 10:24 tells us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” I’m pretty sure that doesn’t just apply to people who shop at the same stores and have their kids in school together. It applies to a college guy and a grandmother. They really need the same reminders. Welcome to the body of Christ: a mishmash of ages and seasons and situations and temperaments that God has chosen to accomplish his purposes.
So let’s stir someone up today who may (gasp!) be in a different season in life. If you don’t know what to say, just remind them of something that encourages you, and I guarantee it’ll be perfect for them.