Popular verse Ecclesiastes 3:1 sums up the course of human life, saying: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” From the moment we enter this world, life changes. As young children we don’t notice those changes like we do in our later years; our parents handle the consequences and details. But as we age, seasons take on a more obvious role.
The transition from high school to college, singleness to marriage, marriage to motherhood, one job to another—these all signify a change of lifestyle or even location. And since none of these experiences are eternal, all of them are seasons.
Not all seasons are as apparent as the ones listed above, however. How do you know if God is taking you from one season into another? Here are three signs.
1. You feel restless.
Sometimes God allows us to experience a spirit of restlessness before He moves us to a new life stage. You might be completely content where you are, yet sense Him calling you to something you don’t yet understand. In moments like this, pray, pray, pray! God delights to answer us when we ask for wisdom.
Don’t confuse discontent with restlessness, however. If you spend every day of your singleness wishing you were in a relationship, that’s not restlessness—that’s dissatisfaction with where God has you. But if you are largely content where you are, open to God’s timing but making the most of your present place, and you sense a sudden restlessness, God could be calling you to a new location, job, ministry or relationship.
2. You sense your work is done.
There are times we just know that our work in a specific town, ministry or job is complete, and it’s time to look elsewhere. Sometimes the timing doesn’t make sense; the work, from an outside perspective, doesn’t look finished. Yet God could have a very specific person in mind to fill that role, and in order for them to fulfill their calling, we have to obey Him and step aside.
Once again, don’t let emotions be confused with God’s voice. There is a difference between laziness and a God-ordained decision! Don’t give up on something because it’s difficult. Only move on if you’ve prayerfully received clarity regarding the decision.
3. You’ve received several distinct opportunities.
God often repeats Himself when He wants to get a point across. We see this in Scripture, and we see it in day-to-day life, too—if we are walking close to Him and listening for His voice! If you receive several similar opportunities or experiences within a short span of time, God could be directing you to a new season. Ask for godly advice, seek the Lord in prayer and search His Word before making any hasty decisions. Be sure to look at the circumstances surrounding the opportunities, too.
How to Respond
What if God is moving you into a new season—what then? The first step is to draw near to Him. You can’t expect a clear answer if you don’t take the time to sit at His feet and listen. “Listening” takes the form of reading His Word, praying over what you read and meditating—or thinking about the words you’ve read. Ask God to apply His Word to your life and speak to you through it!
Ask for godly wisdom and advice from people who have dealt with similar situations or act as mentors in your life. Pastors, pastors’ wives, ministry leaders and parents can all fill this role.
Finally, don’t worry about the transition. It might be difficult; you might have to let go of people, places and experiences you love. But God is calling you to a new level of maturity. He will walk with you into the calling He has on your life—that’s an absolute guarantee.