Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

This morning I went to my back porch as the sun was rising. I watched the heavy dew drip off my roof to the ground below. I saw the green plants covered with that same layer of moisture. I heard birds greeting the new day with singing. I thanked God for the changing of the seasons once again.

I contemplated how I have watched seasons change now for 60 years. And by that, I mean more than the Earth orbiting the sun in a different orientation throughout the year. I have seen seasons change in my life and the lives of those I love. I have gone from being a child to becoming an adult and a husband and a father. I have watched my children go through the same seasons in their lives, making me a grandfather. I have gone through the death of my grandparents, my father and my best friend. Some seasons are painful, some are joyful, some we let slip away without notice. But they are all part of the fabric that makes up our lives.

Through most of those seasons, the same person has been by my side. And my sweet bride is now entering a new season of her life. We have been husband and wife for 39 years, and for almost 30 of those years she has been a teacher in either a parochial school, a preschool or public school. (She took some time off to be a stay-at-home mom while our girls were young, and that was a tremendous blessing for our family!) However, at the end of this month, she will retire from that profession. Seasons change. It is time for her to spend more time being a grandmother. It is time for her to volunteer more with organizations near to her heart. It is time for the two of us to be able to schedule vacations independent of the school year calendar.

Something that has remained constant through all these seasons, and will through this one as well, is the tremendous love and care of our God. He is our rock and our redeemer, the one we thank for all our blessings and the one we turn to when things are trying and difficult. Our confidence is in the one who not only provides for our needs here on Earth, but who has shown us the depth of his love by taking care of the problem of sin for us through the sacrifice of his Son.

Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

As we move into this new season of our lives, an old cliché is worth repeating: we don’t know what the future holds, but we know the one who holds the future. And so we will strive to continue living our lives in response to the good news of forgiveness, life and salvation that we have as a free gift for the sake of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Michael Mattil is the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Denison. He can be reached at