Weathering the storms during the seasons of life

Published 2:36 am Saturday, March 16, 2019

Someone once described the seasons in Alabama with these words, “Winter is at 6 a.m., Spring is at 10 a.m., Summer is at 2 p.m., and Fall around 4:30 p.m.  I recall days I’ve worn a coat early in the morning; then, by mid-morning the temperature turns to sweater weather; followed by a hot and humid afternoon; and a chilly evening.

A cartoon I saw the other day listed the four seasons of the year in the South as Pollen, Tornado, Football, and Summer.  Tragically, once again, we have witnessed the swift, violent destruction caused by tornadoes in recent days.

In our daily lives, each of us encounters storms.  There’s no way to know what’s about to happen.  I’ve heard it said that most people are either going into a storm, in the middle of a storm or coming out of a storm.  As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Into each life some rain must fall.”

Maybe it’s an unexpected diagnosis of cancer or the sudden death of a family member.  It could be the loss of a job or the loss of a relationship.  A minister I know once said his favorite scripture was “It came to pass.”  “Thank God, our problems come to pass, they do not come to stay,” he added.

Even though we are powerless to calm the winds, we can pray for God to calm us.  There’s a song that says, “Sometimes He calms the storm, but other times He calms His child.” Our faith gets battered during the storms of life.  Like the trees bent down by the strong winds, we can feel as though the storm will uproot our faith.

A chorus our church often sings encourages my faith, “No matter the storms that come my way, no matter the trials I may face, You’ve promised that You would see me through, so I will trust in You.”

Tragedies show us how fragile life can be and what really matters most is not our possessions, rather those we love and the time we spend with them.  We are reminded to treasure each day because we never know when it will be our last. 

King Solomon tells us, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance… “(Ecclesiastes 3:1-4).

When a sports team has an undefeated season and wins a championship, that’s a season of joy.  The beauty of flowers blooming or the birth of a child bring seasons of joy.  The past couple of years, I’ve found myself in the season of life sandwiched between care-giving for our aging mothers and taking care of our grandchildren.

No matter what season of life you may be experiencing, God has a plan and purpose to give you strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

Jan White is an national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at