Fall in Wisconsin is a beauty. As I write, the trees are at the peak of their vibrant colors and they’re breathtaking! It’s been warmer than usual, but the smell of fall is in the air. The wind blows the multicolored leaves to the ground, swirling and twirling them before they land at your feet. Some of them are crunchy and it’s such a lovely sound as you walk through them. It’s almost as magical as a winter wonderland!
Fall comes right after Spring in my book of favorites. I love Spring because it reminds me that all things can be made new. Fall, on the other hand, is a time when many people start to struggle more than usual. The leaves changing are beautiful, but it only lasts for a moment and then they are gone. The color fades and death overtakes them. We see things that were once bright with life fade into death and at times our spirit goes with it. We know the long months of winter will soon be upon us and things can seem especially dark and dreary. So what do we do?
The same things we should always do; we look to God’s Word. In this case we turn to Ecclesiastes 3. In the New Living Translation verses one through eight read:
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
God’s Word not only gives us permission to grieve, it also gives us reason to hope. You see, just like the changing of seasons, what we experience as God’s creation is subject to seasons as well. If you are currently going through a season of tears, grieving and a tearing of heart and soul, there is another season right around the corner that you will get to experience. Your season of healing, mending, laughter and dancing is coming.
Winter may be long this year, but better days are coming. A fresh Spring will soon arrive, a time of new life and growth and warmth. There is hope for tomorrow because God is already there. He will show you the path you should walk and the road you should take.
Immediately following the passage above we read, “What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:9-11, NLT).”
There is beauty where you are. It may be difficult to see right now, but it is there. One of the reasons life is so hard is because we weren’t made for life as we know it. God has planted eternity in our hearts. We long for what will be one day, but it’s not here yet and we can’t see everything God is doing. That’s where trust and faith come in. We can trust that our Creator has a good plan and that we are part of that plan. We can have faith that one day things will be as they were meant to be.
What say you, my friend? Will you take some time with me today to notice the beauty God has placed around you? Let’s thank Him for the gifts He has given us, even in the midst of difficult times.
“Your sorrow itself shall be turned into joy. Not the sorrow to be taken away, and joy to be put in its place, but the very sorrow which now grieves you shall be turned into joy. God not only takes away the bitterness and gives sweetness in its place, but turns the bitterness into sweetness itself.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon
(c) October 14, 2013