Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A God for all Seasons

I'd like to spend today and tomorrow telling you a little about a wonderful book that I have read. I was offered the opportunity to receive a copy of Patti Tingen's A God for all Seasons. I received such a blessing as I read it -- I want to tell you about it.

I saw a review of the book on one of our Bible Study follower's blog -- and it resonated with me. Donna had chosen the month of March to dig into, and had used quotes from A God for all Seasons to illustrate her points.  Donna's thoughts on clinging to God and not letting evil overtake us was something familiar to me, because of a situation our family found ourselves in. I hoped then to get a copy of the book; I was thrilled when Patti offered me the opportunity to read and review it.

The subtitle of the book reads, "Inspiration and Reflection for all Times." That is truly what I found within the pages of Patti's book. Let me explain . . .

I was drawn in by the introduction, as Patti Tingen spoke quite honestly about the seasons that we experience in our lives. Many preachers and laypeople have spoken about how the seasons reflect times in our lives here on earth. Patti carried it one step further, and told how she would use each month to picture a time in our lives and how God would be there for us in each one.

The book begins with winter -- a time that can be beautiful, and can also be quite harsh and depressing. Here is Patti's "Winter" introduction:
"In many ways, winter is a beautiful season. It can also be a very difficult time to endure. The harsh winds, long dark nights and icy temperatures can leave us longing for the light and warmth of spring. Handling the physical aspects of winter is trying enough -- but when we also "winter" spiritually, the darkness can become almost unbearable. This can be especially difficult if our "winter" continues on long past the season's end date on the calendar.
Whether we like it or not, we will continue to have winters -- in one way or another. But there is much we can learn in winter that can't be acquired in any other season. So in spite of the cold, in spite of the darkness, there is reason to not give up. For winter can bring us hope -- it is a chance to renew -- and it can be an occasion to wait.
These are the times of winter."
Patti chose December as her first chapter, and I am so glad that she did. Truly December is a season of joy for those of us who know Christ as our Savior. Yet we also are aware, many of us first-hand, that December and the Christmas holidays can be a time of deep sadness and hopelessness for some. Patti made the point that if Jesus lives in us, the darkness cannot overcome us. She quoted John 1:4-5, which we studied recently:
"The Word gave live to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."
Patti wrote:
"Moving from darkness to light can be a difficult process. But only when we have endured the blackest of nights and the darkest of days can we truly appreciate the light. For without the contrast, the brightness and warmth of better days are taken for granted and sorely underappreciated."
I found myself nodding in agreement. Having weathered a "winter" in our lives, my husband and I are far more grateful for the warmth and joy of the spring moments that come into our lives!

I'd like to continue this tomorrow -- I hope you will join me again. 


2 comments:

Katie Isabella said...

This within, says it all.

"The Word gave live to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."
Patti wrote:
"Moving from darkness to light can be a difficult process. But only when we have endured the blackest of nights and the darkest of days can we truly appreciate the light. For without the contrast, the brightness and warmth of better days are taken for granted and sorely underappreciated."

Belinda said...

God's timing is always perfect. Some friends of mine were talking about trying times and how depressed we get in them just this weekend. I will definitely look for this book.