Right before I had my first baby, my mom gave me some simple and profound advice, “Remember, this is a season.” She’s repeated that to me on several occasions since then and they are probably the wisest words any person has ever said to me.
So, sleepless nights with a newborn . . . a season. Teething, potty training, sickness . . . just seasons. Feeling like I didn’t have as much time for Bible study and quiet times . . . still a season.
By that she meant that it would come and go. No season of our lives is forever. God gives us hope for a future and one day we’ll look back in memory at the seasons we felt would never end. As Richard Blackaby says, “Newness is God’s specialty, a trademark of the abundant gifts He gives us–and as we traverse the unique succession of seasons He’s designed for us, we’ll find our way marked by fresh adventures, surprising encounters, and unprecedented fulfillment.”
Blackaby walks through all four seasons and how they impact our identity, our relationships, our roles and our faith. There’s a lot of wisdom here, guiding those who really are trapped in one season and refusing to ever leave, as well as reminding those trying to rush through all four seasons in an afternoon to slow down and enjoy the journey.
For driven folks prioritizing accomplishment over people, there’s the reminder that the season of success will end and you’ll be left with relationships that you never invested in. Blackaby also reminds parents to change how we relate to our kids through each season of their lives, so that our relationship can mature.
Overall, I enjoyed Blackaby’s style as a family storyteller who relates experiences to spiritual principles. His reminder to keep a seasonal perspective in life was thought-provoking. This may not be a “catchy” read that sweeps the Christian market, but nevertheless there is wisdom here for anyone at any stage of life (or in any season). It takes time and thoughtfulness to read, consider and apply what Blackaby is sharing. There are also Reflect and Respond questions at the end of each chapter to guide group discussion or individual thought.
My only quibble is that perhaps he indulged in description of the seasons a little too often. There were times I actually thought, “Wait, I already read this” and then flipped through the book only to realize I had just read something very similar a few chapters before. It’s an author’s indulgence, perhaps, to want to keep in descriptive passages, but once would be enough to wax poetic in this book. Then move on to the analysis of what those seasons look like in life.
Even so, any one could benefit and learn from the reminder that God works with us in a seasonal way, bringing us into newness, asking us to cultivate and work, blessing us with a harvest, and then having us say goodbye and move on, ultimately to something new again.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”