I had a brief encounter with a woman I knew who I only had time to ask a quick question about how it was going with a guy she was dating. She surprised me when she replied, “People come into our lives for a reason, a season, a lifetime.” I’ve reflected on those three words for many years….
People come into our lives for a reason. Family members, teachers, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers come into our lives for a reason. We have something to learn from each and every one, even those we might not care for. One day I was having a heated discussion with my older brother as we were walking along. He stopped, looked at me and said, “Do you know why God put me in your life? God put me into your life to teach you patience!”. Truer words were never spoken!
Some people come into our lives for a season. A teacher, a neighbor, or someone we have a few dates with are in our lives for a short period. Some people who come into our lives we wish would never leave us. Some we wish had never appeared. Often these seasonal people have a profound effect on our lives. They help us to discover who we are or the path we should take in our lives. But never mix seasonal people with lifetime expectations.
Some people are there for a lifetime – a family member, a spouse, a friend. The challenge is to grow spiritually and emotionally as the seasons of life go by. If we think we know everything about the other person, then we don’t really know them. When someone is with us for a lifetime, there needs to be surprises, pleasant and loving surprises, that fill our hearts with love and joy.
There is no reason or season for love and joy. Love and joy are not seasonal, but perennial.