“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…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

FreshmenYou can measure life many ways – years, decades, grades (especially in youth ministry).  But a universal truth is that God takes us through seasons in our lives.

The students in the picture above graduated high school this year and will begin college in the next few weeks.  Several of them were high school freshmen when I began in my position at Celebration Church.  They are an extremely gifted and have been a huge part of our ministry.  I think of them more as my friends than just “students.”

Last night was the final night at youth group for most of them, as they’ll be heading into a new season of life.  God is taking our youth ministry into a new season as well, as there will be new opportunities for students to step up.

I shared the verse listed above and the several verses that follow it last night to illustrate these seasons of life.  There’s a time for everything, and following that, Solomon writes:

“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

I got a little rather emotional when I spoke about how the human heart longs for eternity, something that will last forever and ever.  That idea was planted in our hearts long ago.  Even though we have that longing, we cannot see the full scope of the work that God does; we’re limited in our vision and understanding.

I don’t know the full scope of the work that God will do in the lives of these students, or any of my students for that matter.

Our Pastor shared a message some time ago about the growth process of healthy things.  He said this:

Healthy things grow,
Growing things change,
Changing things challenge us,
Challenges cause us to trust God,
Trusting God leads us to obedience,
Obedience makes us healthy,
And healthy things grow.

Growth and change are the natural result of being healthy.  It happens to all of us.  These changes give us the opportunity to trust God, obey, and continue to be healthy and grow.  Life is cyclical, seasonal.  It’s a beautiful process that God himself shepherds us through.  We go through these seasons of life that refine and perfect who we are.  The constant thing through all of life’s change is God, and his faithfulness in our lives.

I ended last night with this beautiful verse (Philippians 1:6) before praying over our outgoing college freshmen.  Though we cannot see the full scope of God’s work,

I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.  

Hallelujah.

Question: Are you entering a new season, or have you recently?  What is it?  When did you begin to see and understand this idea that God takes us through seasons in our life?