The seasons of the year created by the powerful hands of our heavenly Father speak of the need to slow down, stop, and reflect. Times of reflection create space for God’s Spirit to speak, helping us remember what he has done, making us aware of what he is doing, and stirring our hearts for what he wants to do next. God loves to use a change in season to remind us to center our lives around his pervasive works. Whether it be a change in jobs, weather, moving, or the approaching of a new year, it’s crucial that we make space for God to speak to us and prepare us for the wonderful things he has planned.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 illustrates this principle in saying,
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; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
The best place to begin reflection is in remembering. I don’t know whether this year was one filled with heartache or laughter for you. I don’t know whether you experienced loss or new beginnings. I don’t know whether you cried tears of joy or sadness. But your heavenly Father does. And it’s in quiet remembrance that he wants to comfort you, rejoice with you, and wrap you in his arms. It’s in remembrance that he wants to bring about healing, grace, love, and perspective. Take time today to remember.
Next, take time to ask the Holy Spirit for revelation on the present. Just as seasons help us to remember the past, they beg of us to live in the present. God is doing a mighty work in and around you right now. This is a time for faith and deep encounters with the transforming love of God. This is a time to savor the beauty of the current and to rest in the goodness of the immediate. God is present to meet with you, love you, and fill you. He has strength, grace, comfort, and joy for you if you will make space to receive the fullness of what he wants to give. Take time today to savor.
Lastly, God longs to fill you with hope and expectancy for his future plans. The new year, filled with its possibilities and new beginnings, is quickly approaching. Your heavenly Father, who dwells in all of eternity, longs to prepare you for what is to come. He longs to lay a foundation for your year with a fresh revelation of his love, faithfulness, and presence. He longs to fill you with hope and desires that he will see through to fruition. Take time today to allow him to prepare you for all next year holds.
May your time in guided prayer be marked by clarity and revelation in the Holy Spirit as you engage in these three practices.