The temperature and the leaves have fallen. The trees are bare. The ground is frozen and covered with the last of the leaves. Most of them are not even ours. They have blown from across the way… from the oak trees. Today is the day to get the last of them up and gone. The end of the autumn season.
With a season change comes the time to put away things that you no longer need. Rakes, flower pots, wheel barrows. All tucked away for the winter. Some things you have to throw away, for they are not reusable when spring comes. The two flower pots on my patio that have bloomed beautifully all fall, are now frozen in time. They still look alive and well, but if you touch them they are brittle. It’s tough to have to throw them away for they have been a source of life on my patio for many months.
This change of season should feel a bit like cleaning out… simplifying. There should be a feeling of excitement for winter and all that it will bring. Clean yard, neatly stacked wood for the winter fires, snow shovels out, ice scrapers by the back door, scarves and mittens down out of the closet, hot chocolate ready to be made.
I wish it were that easy. This season change feels more challenging than others have been in the past. Life has gotten very complicated with all of the things we battle day in and day out – relationships, finances, responsibilities, memories of things lost and hopes for things to come.
Just when I think it’s more than I can handle, God steps in. Like the first evening of November when I walked outside into a glorious sunset. All the worry that was heavy on my heart washed away for a moment as He revealed that it’s not about me… He’s with me in this change of seasons.
Of course, I took all the worry back and continued on, waking early in the morning with anxiety and fear. Wishing, hoping, wondering. Then He steps in again and lands a letter in my mailbox from a dear friend struggling with breast cancer. Her words were that of encouragement and love. Once again, God reminded me of His grace and goodness. My sweet friend’s words encouraged me to find the blessings throughout the day… to take my mind off the things that are weighing me down.
I’ve let myself get bogged down by all of the leaves falling on me at once. What I need to do is take one leaf at a time! Find the blessing and beauty, and do what needs to be done in each moment, covered in His grace and new mercies every day. The seasons change whether I’m ready or not.
“For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)