Season’s Purpose

Changes Revealed

Phot~pixabay

Pixabay

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.

Beauty Revealed

Photo~pixabay

Photo~pixabay

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.

Photo~Wikipedia Public Domain

Photo~Wikipedia Public Domain

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.

Purpose Revealed

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

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver~wikicommons

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver~wikicommons

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.

Guarding Our Hearts

Proverbs 4:23 commands us to guard our hearts for every thought, word, or deed flows from it. Actions must be taken to protect it from invasion.

Every year I plant a garden. It isn’t a lovely garden with a white picket fence, ivy trellis, and flowers adorning the beds. No. In fact, the beauty of my garden is in the eye of the beholder. If you were to see it, you would probably ask yourself why I even bother.

My garden is enclosed with cow/horse panel on three sides with the back of the barn completing the fourth. Added to the bottom is a piece of running board or catwalk. Along the north side is an electric fence. And even though, I have added a layer of protection every year, something always seems to find it’s way inside.

This year, we spent several days trying to figure out why the tops of my bell peppers were disappearing. We checked the fence. Too small for a deer to stick its head through. We checked for holes next to the fence. No sign of turtles. Then we placed boards in front of the gate. The next morning I found another scalped bell pepper. With pregnant clouds above, I had no other choice but to wait it out.

Baby BunniesOne week later, I decided to weed the tomato bed. During the process, my seventeen-year-old daughter found tufts of hair next to one of the plants. Baby rabbits! With umpteen dozen wooded acres, why in the world did the female rabbit have to pick my 48 x 48 fortress. I began trying to figure out how the mother was able to get inside while my daughter was oohing and aahing over the cute little ears!

“Oh, they’re so cute,” she said. “Look at those fuzzy ears!”

I watched her for a moment and knew I couldn’t get rid of them, yet. I told her to stop hoeing and we would watch them for a little while. Then, I began searching for the break in my wall. Finally, I found a little tunnel under the wall of a stall. The fuzzy miner had been busy.

On the way to the house, I informed my daughter the rabbits had to go. Her disappointment was obvious. “But they’re so cute.”

“Well, cute or not, they’ll destroy everything out there. Make a choice.”

With hand over heart, she replied. “But, Mama. My heart is torn.”

I reminded her that small things can be cute, but they can grow up to be quite ugly and destructive. She agreed. She searched for information on what to do and found they were older than they first appeared. According to the experts, the babies would soon leave the nest. A week later, they moved out and we covered the hole.

My garden may not be pretty to some, but it supplies me with a veritable summer buffet. From it, I pick tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peas, cucumbers, strawberries, bell peppers, and cantaloupe.

Next year, I plan to add a moat.