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“There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under heaven (…)”
The brisk autumn air hit my face …
as I sped down the last hill. Used to walk until the end of the road and turn around, I glanced to the right, and my heart leaped for joy.
“Finally!” I said to myself.
My feet rushed across the street. My morning walk would take a much-anticipated turn towards the lake in front of my subdivision, where fiery red trees shouted an invitation to dive into the beauty of God’s creation in the fall.
I had walked these sidewalks for weeks, eagerly waiting to witness the change of colors reflected on the placid lake. Unseasonably cold temperatures last week prevented me from walking outside… but it was all worth it. The cold temperatures had certainly been the catalyst to plunge nature into the beautiful, ephemeral festival of colors that fill our eyes every Fall.
My eyes filled with tears of joy… and my prayer walk turned into praise.
I had been walking and praying, crying out to God on behalf of friends who are facing dark valleys. As I prayed, my heart was burdened. Battle prayers were lifted, as God prompted me to intercede with the passion of someone who walked in their shoes…
The winters of our souls.
As my feet approached the trees, strategically planted by the lake, my shoes got caught in a carpet of red leaves that had fell. That’s when an unusual thought crossed my mind. Blame it on the creative vein that pumps within a writer’s heart.
“If I were a tree, oblivious that spring would one day come, I would be desperate right now.”
The leaves – so carefully nurtured through the Spring and Summer months… now fall off my branches. And I can do nothing. I can only watch in dismay, wondering if I could have done something about it.
I would not know that the falling is part of the process… that nature’s pruning is as needed as it is beautiful. That the old must fall in order that the new may grow… and that there is beauty in the unraveling. Even if I don’t see it… or feel it.
Even if it hurts.
A few more weeks and the beautiful red maple trees by the lake will be bare. We know the fall is just the beginning of the season of desolate cold, fruitless months. Those trees will be dormant. No one will rest under their shadow. No one will point their cameras towards their bare branches. It will seem as if they are… forgotten.
But you and I know better.
The dormant season will pass. And the trees, planted by the water, will continue to draw the nourishment they need to survive. They look dead… but they are very much alive. The winter months are but a season. One of four. One that will pass.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
Today, you may feel like the tree, helpless as you watch your life fall apart before your eyes.
Or maybe you feel like a dormant tree in the winter months… in a season of waiting for life to pump through your veins again and fruits of joy, hope and peace burst forth. Will you let me encourage you today, my friend?
I can’t type these words without feeling overwhelmed about the faithfulness of our God – a faithfulness as sure as the coming of each yearly season:
So long as you stay close to Jesus, the Living Water…
So long as your roots reach out to the Source of your strength… even if sometimes you do it mechanically… because you really don’t feel like praying, but you do it, anyway… or reading your Bible, but you read it, anyway.
So long as you plant your heart in the Truth of God’s Word… and declare with your weary, yet hopeful heart:
“My God is faithful.”
“My Redeemer lives.”
“My Savior is in control.”
“Jehovah Rapha still heals… Jehovah Jireh still provides… El Shaddai still reigns.”
My God is faithful. My Redeemer lives. My Savior is in control. Jehovah Rapha still heals… Jehovah Jireh still provides… El Shaddai still reigns.
So long as you do not allow the father of lies to pester your heart and thoughts, but rather, “destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
God’s promises for your life WILL reign.
I speak with the authority of someone who has been through many winters of the soul… and pressed on to watch Spring flourish again. I shout with blessed conviction, defying any lie of the devil, or wavering of my heart:
This too shall pass! This too shall pass!
How is God encouraging you today?