The Mango Season of Life
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”
Rahab’s life was far from stellar. But nonetheless, she desperately loved her family. So, with her city under siege, Rahab, like the rest of Jericho, feared for the safety of her loved ones.
Knowing Rahab was a prostitute must have surely caused Israel’s spies concern over her trustworthiness, but nonetheless, God’s providence led them to her. If you fast forward through this story, you will see how God used Rahab as part of His plan to deliver Jericho into the hands of Israel. In exchange, Rahab and her family began their new life with the Israelites and Rahab went on to become an ancestor of Christ. Talk about new seasons of life! Rahab went from prostitute to hero to God-fearing wife and mother, to Christ’s lineage.
That was long ago, but life today is no different. By God’s design, we navigate numerous seasons of life, each season with challenges, with blessings, and with purpose.
My husband and I raised three children of our own and several others God sent to us. For years, our house was filled with noise. Then one day we dropped our youngest off at college to return to a silent house. I headed to the grocery store in search of, not only food, but soothing noise. Perusing the aisles, I began talking myself out of each item, reasoning that we didn’t need that now because it was too much for two people, or because only the kids really liked it and Mike and I tolerated it, or because it had too much sugar for people our age. On and on went my reasons not to purchase. Soon I found myself halfway through the store with only a single lonely item in my cart: a mango! That’s all! One mango was all I determined fit my new season of life.
Not proud of it, but at the sight of that lonely mango, I couldn’t hold back the tears. My life as I knew it was gone! In its place was a life I did not know how to navigate.
As I tearfully stood in the middle of the store and curious shoppers passed by with carts piled high, I made a resolution: in whatever season of life I would find myself, God would be its center. And if God were the center, all would be fine!
Drying my tears, I turned my cart around for a shopping do-over. For 25 years, I had passed over items that were either too expensive or our kids didn’t like. These items were now at the top of my empty-nest grocery scavenger hunt. That evening, when my husband offered to take me out to dinner, I answered, “No thank you,” with a smile. “We are having filet mignon, shrimp cocktail, and a mango!” Then, we happily consumed our empty-nest dinner with uninterrupted conversation.
I wonder if Rahab ever experienced a new-season-of-life meltdown? Even wonderful new seasons bring anxiousness into our lives. But, if we invite God to be the major player in all our seasons, we will be fine, for He will sustain us.
As for me, God has a sense of humor. As quickly as I realized the beauty of the empty-nest, my loved ones began re-nesting. And, re-nesting is a real thing, sisters, so get ready! Our home has been gloriously filled off and on ever since. But, when Mike and I find ourselves alone for a short season, I head to the store for a mango, because it represent to me the tender and loving sustenance of our Heavenly Father.
Father God, help us to face each new season of life with you at our side.