There is a little creek not far from our home. The road that I travel in the morning on my way to work runs over the top of the creek. I had stopped the other day to admire the beauty. The way the sun was shining through the trees that morning captured my attention.
I’m not sure where this body of water runs to? It runs in both directions on private property, so walking along the banks is not something I can do. I stood and wondered just where the creek leads and how beautiful the landscape must have looked further downstream. That morning was clear. The autumn sun has a different hue in the spectrum this time of year; a golden tint early in the morning. It was simply beautiful.
I will pass the creek today and notice the bare branches, light snow covering the land and the gray skies. Further down the creek, I’m sure there is the same barren landscape. How quickly the beauty can turn to bleakness.
As we move into the coming moments of our lives, the change is often times unforeseen. We stop to admire the beauty of our moments. The light radiates through the obstacles one day, while the next day brings emptiness. That bleakness, much like the current day outside. We quickly lose sight of the beauty which encompassed our thoughts. The spectacular vision of those days of pleasure are now blotted out by a current dreariness. In those moments, we tend to get caught up within negative emotions. Sadness. Despair. Fear. We forget about the light which once shined upon our land. We want that light to return. We seek a different time besides that of the current.
Winters are gray and dead here. There is so much life within the landscape throughout the rest of the year. Many trees. Lush growth covers the land in the spring, summer and fall. Beautiful color bursts from the many different plants. The crops stretch in all directions. The blankets of green turn to rust. The crops are harvested and cut away, while most of the trees lose their foliage. Gray. Dead. Empty. The beauty of life is somewhere within the days behind. Anticipated in the months to come.
Although the season has begun, I still find beauty. Do you? Is the season you are facing now drowning out your joy? Is the light gone? Is that which is in front of you taking away from the light that can still be found within the gray? Can you still see the light as it reflects off of the snow? Can you still admire the emptiness within the vastness of His creation? Will you recognize the season of change?
Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years! How did they survive? The Lord provided.
My wife had a bout with a debilitating autoimmune disease accompanied by rheumatoid arthritis for a period of time before the right medications began to work. How did she survive? The Lord provided.
I had a troublesome time with myself for thirty-some-odd years of my life with depression and anxiety before I was able to receive the proper treatment for it all. How did I survive? The Lord provided.
I see the children at St. Jude fighting cancer for the beginning years of their lives. How do they survive? The Lord provides.
But here is the truth; some won’t survive.
My best friend died when he was only thirty. He dropped dead from heart failure in the middle of his kitchen floor. His friend had shot himself in the head in front of him just months prior. I just heard a story of a man who fell asleep in a car while traveling with his family. He never woke up.
As much as we hate to suffer, it is inevitable within this life as we know it. We can observe the physical world and try to figure out why the leaves must fall, why the flesh must perish and just why things take periods of time, as we understand time. But much like the seasons, everything has a time and place within our Creator’s divine plan.
Isn’t that hard to swallow?
I personally have witnessed a lot of pain and suffering. It is through those seasons that I have become closer to the Lord. Not further away. At the time of loss within a season, I learned something for the coming days. I did not recognize those things at the time because the future cannot be seen. Something has changed within. The recognition of living in the present place of grace is truly what I try to embrace. His plan in His time. Honesty, I pray often to stay in this way. The devil is always trying to break my hope.
BUT MY GOD IS BIGGER! I will speak life into my trials! His life!
The foliage withers and falls. The flesh fails and returns to dust. The seasons come and go. There is a time for it. Not ours, even though our prideful greed wants it to be our way in our time. The Lord made it the way He would have it. The sin which covers our land is the mystery of iniquity that men have questioned throughout the ages. It is the plague which covers the land, our minds, the failing hope that we have in Christ and His divine provision.
As I drive past the creek today, I will just keep in mind the beauty that it beholds in its bleakness. I will look forward to its coming day of radiant light and spectacular foliage. I’ll just embrace it for what it is at the present moment. I’ll patiently await the season of His choosing. I’ll keep my hope in His provision. I won’t get so caught up in what is lying downstream, and up.
My prayer today is that remain in Him throughout your current season. His ways are not ours. May we all embrace His graces today.