A Psalm for Every Season [Part 1]
Are you ready for some good news?
Life has seasons. The dormancy of winter is never final. Spring always arrives. Life begins again.
Today’s Text: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3, ESV emphasis mine)
Poetry of Israel is rich, deep and diverse. Some psalms are pure praise. Others express lament. Some of the psalms are songs for the people of God and some are mysterious expressions of wisdom. Why such variety in the psalter of Israel? Because life has seasons. There is a psalm for every season.
My Old Testament professor, Walter Brueggeman, grouped the psalms into three categories: psalms of orientation, psalms of disorientation, and psalms of re-orientation.
Sometimes life is well ordered; all makes sense and all seems right in the world.
Sometimes life is fragmented; little makes sense and everything seems uncertain.
Sometimes life is restored; it’s better than the old way – a new outlook on life.
The sooner (and more deeply) that we accept the seasonal nature of life the more peace we’ll have in this world. Imagine a farmer stepping into his field mid-winter and despairing: “Oh no, nothing is growing – oh my, what am I to do?” Silly right? No farmer falls into despair because there are no crops in January. Likewise, no farmer starts harvesting at the first sign of new growth in the spring. The farmer accepts that there are seasons and works accordingly.
There are seasons to life. You can’t freeze your favorite season in time. I sure loved the years when my kids were little. I loved carrying my little girl on my shoulders. I loved wrestling on the playroom floor. I loved hearing their cute voices chirp with delight. If I could have frozen time, it might have been during those early years with them. But I couldn’t. And if I had frozen that season, I’d never known what it’s like to have an adult conversation with them my junior in college or what it’s like to take a mission trip with my High School daughter. You can’t stop the seasons of life; you can only flow with them.
“… like a tree … that yields its fruit in its season….”
In the wonder of God’s providential love, you can be assured that you’ll bear fruit “in season.” If things feel dormant, despair not: spring is coming. And that’s the Gospel!
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