A Pastor’s Perspective, A Change In Seasons

Jackson, Tn

By: Mike Upchurch

A Change In Seasons

One of the downsides to living in the Mid South is it’s absent minded way of excluding certain seasons. Did you notice we didn’t get a Spring this year? At the speed of light, it went from Winter to Summer, without so much as a cool breeze in between! Fall wasn’t all that great last year either! I remember looking out the back door for the turning of the leaves in the woods behind my house; one minute the leaves are green, the next minute they’re all on the ground without even changing colors!

Good thing our lives aren’t like that….or wait, are they? One minute we seem to be floating along enjoying life while in a rhythm of sorts, and the next minute, without warning, a single event changes everything. We didn’t seem to get any notice that it was coming. We didn’t even get a lull in the action to prepare for it, and suddenly we are in a new season of our lives, and it’s not all that pleasant either!

The point of this is not to tell you there won’t be seasons, but rather to prepare you so that if your life does seem to turn to a cold and dark wintry day without warning, you’ll have peace in the midst of the change and you’ll have the warmth of the Son!

When you know Winter is coming, you make certain preparations. You might check the antifreeze in your car or truck, perhaps even flushing it before the temperatures dip. You might check the caulking around the windows, cover your outside water faucets, or get the warmer clothing out of storage. There is also something you can do to prepare for a winter storm in your life as well. As the best time to winterize is not in the midst of Winter but beforehand, so now is the best time to insulate your emotions long before a storm hits.

The best way to prepare for an upsetting seasonal change is to dig into the scriptures, memorizing them and storing them away in your heart. That way you won’t be frantically searching for a promise when you’re already stressed and sinking into a pit of depression. The word hidden in you is your best defense against any seasonal change! You simply cannot rely on a few short verses learned in Sunday School as a child. You must study His word! You must know He is there for you. You must know He is reliable and that He is there to uphold you. You must know the character of God and that He is your help! There are no shortcuts to this. David knew the power that lay in the word of God; in memorizing it when peril was all about…

If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me.
Oh, how I love Your instructions! I think about them all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide. Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of Your laws.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:92-93, 97-99

You can’t remind the Lord of His promises if you don’t know them yourself. I’m not going to make it easy on you here by listing any promises you need to know, other than just this one…..

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:1-3

Do you have the confidence to say that in your own life? That you won’t fear? Do you know He will be there for YOU? You must search the scriptures out for yourselves until you know for a fact He is there and will be there! I will tell you though, that you should spend time in the Psalms and in the Epistles. When you find a gem, re-read it aloud till it’s in your heart, safely tucked away for the time you need it most.

Cable TV is filled with reality shows featuring a man or woman who is living off the grid. When Winter is approaching, they begin storing protein away. Then when the long cold dread of Winter sets in and they’re hunkered down, they’ll have what they need to survive because they prepared. You must have the protein of God’s word stored away in your heart as well, able at a moment’s notice to recall it and then be comforted.

I have heard people say they don’t like to mark up their bibles, as it is holy to them. I understand that, but that’s not me. All my various bibles are marked in highlighter colors, with notes scribbled everywhere that there’s a blank margin or bottom of a page available. Get a bible you CAN mark up. Underline key promises. Study His promises and commit them to memory. You will be surprised how easily you’ll recall those when you need them. Mainly because the Holy Spirit will bring them to your remembrance. Jesus called Him the Comforter, which is exactly what He becomes in the times you need Him most, but He can’t very well remind you of a promise if you’re not aware of it.

I’ve read/studied my bibles every morning for over thirty years and I can’t tell you how many times a verse will pop into my head that I don’t even remember memorizing, but it was there in my subconscious waiting to float to the top when needed. It’s like muscle memory for the brain…it had registered because I’d seen it so many times. There’s something to be said for constantly reading His word!

David loved the Torah he studied….

“How sweet Your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:103-105‬ ‭NLT‬

Let that be your mantra as well; that His word guides you and lights your way in that wintry storm!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike