Crisp cool air, changing colors and the crunching of leaves, the sweet savory smell of apple pie and pumpkin spice everything, fuzzy sweaters and toasty boots. The moon hangs a little lower in the evening to kiss the horizon; the warm sunlight hangs up and calls it a day just a little bit earlier. The roaring sound of the crowd under the stadium lights cheering on their favorite football echoes into the starry, windy, night sky. Fall festivals, hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving feast with family. It’s easy to see why I can’t help but in fall in love with fall. As I sit here under a cozy fleece blanket with a hot cup of coffee, I listen to the winds and rain from the distant hurricane and reflect on His goodness and mercy as sometimes storms of life can rage around us, with Him there is a warm peace that passes understanding.
Seasons change. Life changes just as quickly. Literally a beautiful bright sunny day can turn into a monstrous storm with winds and rain. Summer fades into autumn. The bright green grass and leaves change color to beautiful warm hues of golden yellow, rich red and orange, and float to the ground touch the earth. The prophet Isaiah said “The grass withers, and the flower fades, but the word of God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8). Life and seasons are constantly changing but God remains constant and faithful. The bare branches of strong trees sway in the winds of change. When you look at what is literally decaying and dying leaves, the natural cycle of life…it’s baffling how we are still captivated by such a beautiful mess. When I look through my spiritual eyes, my life is a lot like autumn and spring. We often look at spring as a resurrection of new life. In order for us as believers to be “born again” we have to die to ourselves. Rarely, do we think of death as a beautiful thing. But as the old leaves fall away and make room for the new beginnings to come. Branches have to be pruned and cut back, just like we have growing pains as kids.
Growth and change can sometimes be painful but after all it’s beautiful. Romans 8:28 reminds us that He makes “all things work together for good, for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Sometimes we try to cling to what we know we should let go of, knowing that our life is approaching a season of change. The autumn leaves in their entire colorful splendor let go of their branches so gracefully, reminding us of the beauty in letting go. You can’t hold on to what is gone. Isaiah 43:18-19 reminds us once again “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing…” There’s so much beauty to behold in God’s masterpiece, it’s as if He has painted the earth with every ray of gold from the sunlight and the richest of colors.
I always remember a story I heard as a young girl, and a children’s church lesson I have taught in the past. We often think of pumpkins during autumn, from decoration to recipes. A pumpkin grows from a seed, it takes time to burst throught the soil and ripen on the vine. To carve a pumpkin we have to scoop out the inside, just like God cleans us from the inside. Psalm 51:10 David said “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.” Jesus did away with the old me at the cross, and He did you as well. The messiness of life and our sinful nature is scooped out of our hearts and just like a jack-o-lantern has a light, He puts his light in us to shine through us. He is the light of the world and we reflect Him.
When I was a young girl fear, faith and fall all used to collide. Anxiety and depression are real. As a little girl who dealt with fear constantly, October was a time when everything scary and frightening came to reality…even if was fake. Scary movies, costumes, ghost stories all of the above made their debut in October. I dealt with anxiety, shyness (that was a very brief season in my life), nervousness crippled me at times. I would find excuses and let things hold me back. When I was a teenager, the anxiety had weakened but depression was more on the forefront. I would get nauseous at the thought of getting up to speak or even sing in front of an audience. Fast forward ten years later, I speak and sing and teach all the time now. It’s as natural as breathing. God conquered my fears and doubts with growing my faith. Fear and faith can’t exist in the same dwelling place. God has been teaching me throughout the last few years that change is a normal part of life. In the past few years, I graduated college, changed careers, lost loved ones, and blessed with a beautiful relationship, laughed, cried, struggled and became more brave. Life is full of change. How we adapt to change is how we learn and grow.
In my life, it has taught me patience. Patience to wait for His plans to unfold the dreams that He has placed in my life but wait for His timing: His perfect season in my life. Whatever you face, fall into His perfect peace. We plant seeds throughout this life, but we must harvest what we sew in the right time. Harvest your blessings. So as the warmth of fall and the crisp chill in the air awaken your soul, rest in this season He has you in. Be blessed.