To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
I am sure I am not the only mother out there who has thought of this passage of Ecclesiastes while wrestling through a challenging phase with your kids. I feel like the very famous lines that follow this verse could be replaced with such common place things as ” A time to be morning sick and a time to feel good. A time to be preparing for birth and a time to have already given birth. A time to nurse and a time to wean. A time to be totally freaked out tired and a time to sleep through the night. A time to feel capable and a time to feel impossibly slow. A time to have well behaved children and a time to have children who are not. A time to feel like the little years will never end, a time to feel like your children grew up when you weren’t looking.”
Often times you feel like you just have your head down and you are just trying to be faithful. And then gradually, almost without you noticing that anything happened, you realize that that phase is gone. In my case I don’t think I had noticed that we were out of the baby work until we were back in it, and I was surprised by how much time a baby takes. Really? This is my sixth child. How did this surprise me? Where have I been?
This may seem like a ridiculous thing to have to point out, but I am going to anyways. Sometimes the same phase repeats itself. Sometimes you thought you had gotten all the grace you could need for a phase, but in reality you had just grown out of it. My husband brought this up with me recently. He pointed out to me that I wasn’t relapsing because it is hard for me to handle a toddler and an infant. In his words, this is another spring, another season of planting. God gives the seasons and He gives the grace to weather them.
But there is something that is very freeing about realizing that your spiritual life has seasons also, and repeating a spiritual lesson is not necessarily a sign of failure. Sometimes you are back to the springtime basics, where you are in constant need of encouragement that God loves you. That His grace is sufficient. That there is nothing new under the sun. God is our constant, He is our shelter from the storms of every season of our lives, and our hope for the next. Rest in Him. For in Him, “There is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)