Been praying that God give me something to write about, and yet again He pulls through, but not without some deep thought and reflection first…
We all know what happens when the seasons change to Fall: the leaves begin to change into a kalidescope of colors as they end their journey as a colorful carpet on the ground. It’s beautiful in it’s own rite and as a photographer, I love this time of year. But last week, as random leaves began to float to the ground below, I saw the trees differently. It dawned on me: trees are so unlike other earthly things. Instead of shedding its ‘coat’ for summer, it flourishes in order to shelter us and protect us from the intensity of the sun or the drizzle of the summer rains. Then, as winter approaches, it sheds its ‘coat’, destined to bare the harshness of the snow and cold nights. The fruitless branches almost give the appearance that the tree is dead, yet on the inside it thrives…and survives, growing even larger and more beautiful as the next season approaches. The tenderness of the leaves could in no way handle the ice. The bitterness of winter chill would freeze the frail shoots and stunt it’s growth…if not kill it. It needs winter. It must embrace winter. Trees are designed for the seasons, just as we are, but we don’t allow ourselves the time or give ourselves the credit to do so.
In my walk, I have come to notice that so many people jump from one relationship to another. It’s saddening. I see the pain, the hurt, the disappointment, but instead of embracing that feeling and growing from it, many stiffle the lesson by running into the arms of someone new who is surely to be ‘the one’. In reality, all they are doing is running away and bringing a little more luggage along with them in the process. I was guilty of this, too. I admit it. But now I refuse. I’m unpacking. I want to embrace my singleness. Shed my leaves. Become bear right there in front of the Lord and admit who I am and what got me here. I want to shed this old me, unpack – lighten my load – so that when it is my season, I will come into bloom as the most beautiful and awe inspiring vision I can be. There is no lesson we can learn about ourselve if we are not, first and foremost, HONEST with ourselves. We have to shed the protect shell we hide behind, open our luggage and take a long hard look at what we’ve been lugging around. We can’t rely on instant gratification to satisfy our lust for self. We have to really take a good look in the mirror and see what makes us, us, then decide what parts we want to shed and what parts we want to nurture. And God can help. He WANTS to help.
You may think that change is impossible, that you’ve been this way for years, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) You may think you aren’t good enough or that you don’t deserve it – and you just might be right – but that’s okay because GOD knows you ARE good enough. You deserve the new you – He wants you to thrive and flourish. When you look at yourself in the eyes of God, the reflection is amazing! So don’t be afraid to let the leaves fall, to become transparent in front of the Lord. There is a season for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) So embrace the season you are in, as it prepares you for the next.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Say to them, ‘This is what the LORD says:
“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?
When someone turns away, do they not return?
They cling to deceit;
they refuse to return.
I have listened attentively,
but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent of their wickedness,
saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues their own course
like a horse charging into battle.
Even the stork in the sky
knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know
the requirements of the LORD.” ~ Jeremiah 8:4-7
“He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.” ~ Daniel 2:21-22
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26