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God has wired me in such a way that I like to watch things grow. I receive much enjoyment out of the plants I have. And every gardener knows that if you don’t have changes in seasons, your plants will not make it. You need seasonal changes for plants to grow.  

The same is true in your life. You need to experience various seasons to mature and grow.  

In fact, you’ll go through many seasons in your life. You’ll experience joyous seasons, like a new marriage, a new ministry, or a new child. And you’ll experience tough ones, too, like when you are grieving, experience a job loss, or struggle with a new family dynamic.

But here’s the good news: God wants to use every one of the seasons you’re in for your good. 

From my personal experience, the following four questions will help you make the most of every season:

1. What can I learn during this season of my life?

We can only learn certain things through experience. Deuteronomy 11:2 tells us, “Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him” (Deuteronomy 11:2 GNT).

To understand the seasons of life, you must start with this one basic truth under your belt: Life is a test. Life prepares you for eternity. You’ll live on earth 60, 70, or 80 years. Then, if you’re a Christian, you’ll spend the rest of eternity with God.

But God wants you to learn a bunch of things before you get to heaven. Of course, He wants you to know that He died for you, rose and conquered death for you, and wants a relationship with you. Then He wants you to learn certain character qualities because the kind of person you are as a Christian will be what you’ll take with you into eternity.

There are important lessons to learn in every season of life. Here are two of those lessons:

  • If you flunk a test in the school of life, you can retake it. If you’re not learning to be patient, God will put more irritations in your life. He wants you to grow. Without tests, you can’t grow. 
  • Then, when you think you’ve graduated, you’ll discover even more classes to take…and more tests you will need to take. As long as you’re on Earth, you won’t stop learning. You’ll always have something to learn about the Lord, yourself, other people, and about the world. The Lord wants you to grow up. 

He will give you the kinds of experiences you will need in each season to help you grow in the ways He wants you to grow.

2. What can I enjoy in this season of my life?

Life is short. Too often, we tell ourselves that we’ll enjoy life more in the next season, whether that’s when we graduate school, get married, have kids, find a new job, get the next ministry assignment, or become empty nesters.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but when we wait for the next season to enjoy life, it doesn’t happen. We need to enjoy every single season of life now. Life is too short to do anything else. 

Ecclesiastes 11:8 tells us, “When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life…” (NLT). I know that’s not always easy. You’ll have many rough days in your ministry and in your personal life. 

But, as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, I’ve found that in everything [we can] give thanks…” (NKJV). On bad days, good days, hard days, and easy days, we can live with a sense of gratitude because it’s a day that God has given us.

3. What is most important in this season of my life?

Life is about choices. Sometimes, we believe the lie that we can do it all. We simply can’t.

You’ll have to make tough choices about what matters most in the particular season you find yourself in. 

Ephesians 5:15,16 tells us to See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (NKJV).

To make the best use of your time, you will need to say no to certain things. Maybe it’s a ministry you’ll need to pass on to someone else. Maybe you need to restructure your ministry. Maybe it is a job change or location change. Maybe a hobby you love should go to the back burner.

One of the most important considerations when thinking through what matters most in your current season is your family circumstances. Many seasons of marriage and parenting will require additional attention from you. Don’t hesitate to put as much energy as you can into those relationships. You’ll never get those days back. If you leave your church or employment tomorrow, they’ll find someone else. Your family will not.

4. How can I help others in this season of my life?

As a leader, you’re likely spending many seasons of your life helping others. But remember this: You help people best when you use your spiritual gift(s), interests, unique abilities, personality style(s), and life experiences. Make sure you’re leveraging the unique way the Lord has wired you to help others. 

You can also become easily caught up in the responsibilities of ministry—staff meetings, preparing sermons, and maintaining your facilities or in a myriad of business and professional activities—that you don’t spend the time serving other people who need you. But Proverbs 3:27 reminds us: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help” (NKJV).

So fellow traveler in this life, what season are you in today? Remember: The Lord wants to use every one of the seasons you’re in for your good. 

Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.