Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pearl of the Day: To Everything There Is a Season

 Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  ~Albert Camus

Welcome back my friends!  I hope things are going well for you.  Does it seem like this summer has passed by rather quickly to anyone else but me?  I've already started to see some of the leaves falling from the trees behind our house.  I know there are many people who really love summer, but I have to say, I won't be too sad to bid summer farewell.  I am more of a spring and fall kinda gal.  I love the cooler temperatures and the changing of seasons.  In the spring there's new life breaking forth and blossoming, and in the fall things are changing to get ready for the winter season.  If I had to pick between the two, I would say fall is probably my favorite.

As their final curtain call, the leaves display a glorious array of red, orange, yellow, and even purple colors for all to see.  This is just one more instance where I can see the magnificent hand of God being displayed in His creation.  We try to take a day trip to the mountains each fall.  There is nothing quite like beholding the beautiful fall colors our Heavenly Father paints in the mountains.  The fall also brings those wonderful cooler temperatures, which means we can finally pull out our sweatshirts and hoodies.  I love sitting out on the back porch enjoying the crisp, evening air, or going on a hayride in the cool of the evening.  And who doesn't love a cup of hot apple cider or hot chocolate?  And then there's Thanksgiving!  Oh my goodness!  Who doesn't love Thanksgiving???  Spending time with family around a table filled with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.  Okay, let me stop before I get even more carried away.  My point in describing all these things is to say that just as the seasons are getting ready to change from summer to fall, and just as those leaves go through a progression of change before being displayed in all their majesty, we also go through different seasons of change in our lives so that God's glory is displayed in us.

There are certain influences inside and outside of the leaves that bring about the magnificent color changes we see in the fall.  It's a slow, progressive change that causes the colors to come forth.  The leaves have endured freezing temperatures, heat and drought, wind and rain, and sometimes they have even weathered an occasional tornado or hurricane.  Just as certain influences contribute to the color changes of the leaves, the Lord uses certain influences inside and outside of us to bring about change.

I have walked through many changes over the last few years now, and quite frankly, I'm not a big fan of change.  It's something I struggle with.  I like having the security of things being constant and consistent.  Not knowing how something will work out has stretched my faith in ways that have not been easy.  God has used those times of stretching to help move me out of a place of complacency; although the moving hasn't come without much kicking and screaming along the way.  I am still on this journey.  Still in the process of change.  My colors are not at their peak yet.  There is just a hint of color starting to break through. 

Sometimes we get comfortable where we are, even when things are not helping us to grow anymore.  We also find comfort in things that might actually be hindering us and keeping us from being all that God has called us to be.  Many times we get comfortable in these places because we fear change.  We sometimes get this mindset that things will change on their own.  There's a quote by Albert Einstein that says, "Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results."  I guess I could be categorized as insane then.  That's just between me and you though.

We also tend to focus more on how we feel instead of trusting that God knows what He's doing while we walk through the season of change.  I personally focus way too much on how I feel instead of on putting all my trust and faith in God.  This is certainly true if it's one of those seasons that can be compared to a "roaming in the desert season."  I feel like one of the Children of Israel in my complaints....."where's the water, how long are we gonna be out here in the heat, my feet hurt, I'm tired, I want to just go back to where I was, at least it was familiar."  I've had quite a few of those whiny, complaining days where I'm tired of not seeing the results of walking through the season of change.  I know that God is using the changes I've been going through to help me grow and to take me to the next level He has for me, but boy, has it been hard.

As hard as it is, many times change is exactly what we need to push us to the place where God wants us to be.  We may not even realize the extent of those changes as we're going through them because change isn't always obvious.  Those changes may happen gradually and with little evidence that anything is happening beneath the surface.  Sometimes we have to get a little further down the road where we can get a different perspective, a better view, where we can look back and see the changes of colors more clearly.  We have a deeper appreciation for the glorious display of color when we can see the whole picture.

The Father has an appointed time for everything we go through my friends.  He knows what He's doing.  Just as He has taken great effort and care to display His glory in all He has created, so He will do the same with you and me.  He is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  We have to hold on through the wind and rain.....hold on through the drought and scorching heat.....hold on through the bitter cold.  God delights in displaying His glory and majesty in all of creation, so how much more delight does it give Him to display His glory in us.  You are His greatest work of art my friend, with colors more vibrant and beautiful than anything this world can offer.

Until next time my friends, be blessed.

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." ~C.S. Lewis

"Just as we don’t move without first sorting through what we’ve gathered through the years, throwing away what is broken and can’t be fixed, and what no longer fits, so too, should we do the same with what we’ve mentally gathered, before we move on. So let us do our sorting, throwing away regrets and old hurts, and taking for our journey only the treasures worth keeping: The lessons, the love, the best of what we’ve lived." ~Sandra Kring

"The mystery of an unsolved puzzle is not fully revealed until the puzzle is complete, however, that doesn't mean that each piece isn't important in and of itself.  Without one of those pieces, the puzzle would not be complete.  Each piece holds the rest together." ~S. Hastings