This time of the year brings a breath-taking transition to our surroundings as emerald-green leaves turn a myriad of gold, orange, and crimson for all to behold.
Not so in my neck of the woods. This year, the oak trees have decided to skip that particular process and turn a sickly greenish-brown just before falling to the ground. Sigh.
I felt robbed of the autumnal experience until I remembered the purpose of the transition is growth. Still, that didn’t help the way I felt as I frantically searched for a little color each day.
But then, while wading through leaves to water the flowers yesterday, the Spirit of the Lord gently reminded me that even when we understand the reason, we often lose sight of the beauty.
Ahh. There are seasons our colors shine for all to see as we demonstrate strength, long-suffering, humbleness, love, or even joy in the midst of excruciating pain. But then, there are seasons when our ugly greenish-brown comes out as God strips away the old.
Our secrets are exposed. Our faults and failures revealed. We feel naked to the world. We become vulnerable. We question ourselves and everything around us. We search for someone to blame. Angry, we storm the gates of Heaven for answers. Nothing. We wait. Winter sets in. There’s no solace as we face the icy winds and rains. Our foundation is shaken.
We try to regain some normalcy in our lives as we stubbornly continue to forge ahead. We watch as the days turn into months, and months into years. And when it seems, we have reached our limit and feel we cannot go on, the sod beneath us begins to warm. Our roots stretch to take new ground. Our branches stand taller bursting with new growth. And once again, we are arrayed in His purpose, beautiful in His sight.
Are you in a season of glorious color or sickly greenish-brown? Both have their purpose, Beloved. Both have their beauty.
It’s easy to focus on the surroundings when God wants us to open our eyes to the miraculous process taking place within us. In Second Kings, the servant of the man of God awoke to an army surrounding the city with horses and chariots. When he asked the man of God what they were going to do, Elisha told him to “fear not” and then he prayed.
And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 6:17 KJV).
A Seasonal Prayer
Lord, during this season of transition, I pray that You would open our eyes to the beauty of Your purpose in us. Help us to not focus on the situation, but the outcome. Strengthen us for the journey. Instill in us a determination to make it, no matter the obstacles we must face. May we be reminded, Your grace is enough for every season and Your power is made perfect in our weakness. May we grow in grace and shine forth as a beautiful, fruitful testimony of Your incredible faithfulness in the lives of Your children. And for all of this, I offer You thanks. In Christ’s name, I pray, Amen.