Shannon Dittemore



The cherry blossom trees are blossoming again. As I pass by–several times a day–I am reminded that God, in all His wisdom, knows that we need seasons.

Seasons run their course and the wisest of us understand that this thing–whatever it is–will not last forever. As I grow in my faith, this singular fact is both comforting and daunting.

When I’m struggling with the pain of letting certain things die, my God reminds me that “For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

This wisdom, though often hard to accept, remains true and awakens an attitude so grateful for His providence.

For His insight.

For a loving God who knows His Creation so well.

And then, as my children curl up against me for evening prayer, as their tiny fingers take hold of mine, again, I hear the still small voice of my Father, “This too shall pass.”

The sweet sadness of these tender moments are enough to keep me from wishing away the days and hours when the trees are fruitless, the sun too hot, and the season I find myself in lingers past all earthly comfort.

With the cherry blossom trees now in full bloom, I am overwhelmed at God’s grace and His beauty. The other day, reveling in the wonder of impending spring, I took another lap around the block just to view them.

As I passed the precious sight, my heart faltered.

There, in the midst of the cherry blossom trees, just near the end of the row, was a sobering sight. Between two trees flowering white, sat a tired-looking specimen.

It wasn’t a cherry blossom tree–that much was obvious. I couldn’t identify it, but its leaves had just browned and as the breeze picked up they were pulled from its branches and scattered on the wind. I drove on, leaving the row of trees behind me.

As I parked the car and unloaded my children, the Spirit of the Lord brought comfort.

See, I’ve been that tree. The one not flowering with the rest–the girl walking through a bitter winter while everyone around her seemed to be enjoying blue skies.

I’ve wondered just why I was surrounded by those in favorable seasons while I endured the rain. Was I planted in the wrong field? In the wrong time? Just why was I so out of place?

There aren’t easy answers. It comes back to God’s providence. God’s choice. We might not understand why we go through the things we go through, or why the world around us seems to be a season ahead, but I am grateful that God acts in seasons. That He moves me through life in phases. I am learning to revel in every one of them, because the winter and the fall can also be beautiful.

And, what is springtime and sun without the rain and cold?

I don’t know why I go through times where the world around me flowers and I falter, but God has recently seen fit to plant others of my kind near, and I’ve been delighted to run through this season with companions.

So, today, I want to encourage you.

If you find yourself blossoming in the midst of death, or dying in midst of life–if you find yourself pleasantly marching through season after season or struggling to understand why–remember, we serve a good God.

As King Solomon reminds us in the book of Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven.”

Every. Single. Purpose.

Be blessed, friends.



  • Comment by Jenny — March 15, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    What a powerful post Shannon. And a good reminder to me on a rainy day when I wish I was in a different season, that “this too shall pass.”

  • Comment by Lacey — March 15, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    I’m thankful too that God works in seasons. This world is ever changing, we can’t stop it even if we try…good or bad. But I am thankful that God is always the same. Faithful, merciful, just, holy, and with us through every season yesterday, today and forever! Great post.

  • Comment by Karen — April 26, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    Thanks Shan… wise words.

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