Friday, November 8, 2013

Changing Seasons

Fall is a time of the year when the changes in the world around us become increasingly evident. While all living things continually experience change, in the fall, it becomes outwardly visible in the changing of the colors around us. Some trees and bushes go from green, to bright festive fall colors, to nothing left but limbs with little or no color at all.

I really never paid attention to this process of leaves changing colors in the fall. When I think back, I saw green, then red, yellow, or orange, and then the leaves falling off the tree all together. This year has been different. This year, God has revealed the process of change to me as I have driven to work and home this week. The colors changing in the fall, is a process. The whole tree, and even each individual leaf, doesn’t change instantly. It gradually changes colors until the green is gone.

Over the past few years I have repeatedly heard people talk about the seasons of life (funny how God stays on something until you get it). God designed all living things, including humans, to change. As humans, we go through seasons in our lives. Some seasons are good and some are not so good.

It is easy for us to look back on our lives and see the seasons, but do we notice the change?

Seasons of our lives change for a purpose. Sometimes the purpose is directly related to the new season we move into, but sometimes the purpose isn’t found in the destination, but in the journey. Trees are not pretty when the leaves all fall off and all you have to look at are the branches. They are nice when they are all green, but they are beautiful in between green and branches. That’s when everyone takes out their cameras to capture the beauty in God’s creation.

My goal this fall is to stop looking for the new season to arrive. Instead, I want to find the beauty in the journey. It’s there, somewhere. Even when a tree has no leaves left and is nothing but branches, it is still on the journey. Someday soon, new leaves will appear. It isn’t going to be just branches forever.

Even in the parts of the journey that seem ugly, rotten, useless, and hard, the journey hasn’t stopped. There are greener days ahead. Trees with no leaves, nothing but branches, are still trees and they are still standing tall. They don’t fall over or die just because there are no leaves. They are still living and changing. They haven’t been defeated; they are only waiting for the new season.

1 Peter 1:3-12 (NLT)
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance - an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.

The trials of this life and the changing seasons journey's are nothing compared the reward for trusting Him. As you journey through from one season to the next, be truly glad, for there is a wonderful joy ahead even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine, and the reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.

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