Our maple trees are beautiful! They’ve been growing since 1919… oh, the stories they could tell! In the spring as they begin to bud, they bring a sense of hope and renewal for things new and fresh! As they days get warmer, the leaves get larger. Summer is their time to provide shade and protection. Then as fall takes hold, the green leafy trees begin to change. Their leaves become golden flags waving in the autumn sunlight!
As the days and nights get cooler, they prepare for winter. (Can you just hear the pretty music in the background as you read this poetic verse about the beauty of the maple leaves?) In that preparation they drop (insert the sound of the needle scratching across the record!) …. into my yard! Suddenly, their beauty, grandeur and protection are not so wonderful or poetic! Out come the rakes and we rake and rake and rake and rake and rake…. you get the picture! Just when you think you’ve done a great thing, raking for an entire day on the weekend, and bagged them up or stuffed them into the bed of your truck…. something happens! You say goodnight to your clean yard with a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Upon waking in the morning, it as if you did nothing the day before. The yard is full of leaves… again! Repeat this process for three more days. Each morning you wonder how there could possibly be one more leaf on the ground. The just keep falling and falling and falling. Finally, you stop raking and just give into the fall. We will wait until the weekend and surely the trees will be empty. One last hurrah and we can put the rakes away!
Cue the early winter storm passing through. Temperatures plummet and a fresh blanket of snow covers the leaves… perfect! Now the dilemma… shovel the leaves or rake the snow? The seasons clash and you have no choice as to how to tackle the problem… pull up your big girls and get raking!
Life is like this sometimes…. seasons of your life clash. Just when you are enjoying the shade of the trees, the leaves begin falling and difficulties seem to be piling up. It feels as if you can hardly keep up with them. Then the freezing temperatures come and it feels as if life stops you right in your tracks. The heartache and disappointment pile up around you and if feels as if life will never be normal again. At this moment in time, we can turn to our Great Gardner. He has wisdom as to when we should rake and when we need to be still. It’s tough to wait and let the piles sit out in the yard, but at just the right time He will gently nudge us to again pick up the rake. This season will pass and we will be basking in the shade of the trees again… in His time, not ours. Seasons are funny that way…. they are just seasons. And as sure as the leaves pile up around us, they will eventually be gone and winter will gently cover us for a time of rest, thus getting us ready for a new and vibrant spring! I don’t know what this day will bring or what tomorrow holds, but I do know that I can trust His faithfulness; filled with love and grace… and with just what we need at just the right moment.