Autumn comes and goes each year in a whirl of activity and falling leaves. I have always enjoyed the changing of the leaves. But this year, the fall leaves have captivated me. I don't remember them ever being this vibrant. I have tried to capture it on film but, unfortunately, I'm not much of a photographer.
I am ready for this change; this new season. I need a refreshing in spirit, mind, and soul. I have been aware of a weariness and if I'm not careful discouragement can set in. Toward the end of the year, I look back over my shoulder and see the unfulfilled hopes and dreams, and even some unanswered prayers. But fall reminds me of the harvest of God's goodness, and His provision and care for me. I have SO MUCH to be thankful for. If I were to weigh the good and bad of my life in the balances, the good would by far outweigh the bad. But we all have our weaknesses.
Yesterday I was talking to my Mom on the way home from work. It was raining hard. The water droplets running across the windshield, matched those streaming down my face as I shared my heartaches and struggles with her. The past few days, I had noticed that the leaves seemed to be fading. I wasn't ready for them to dry up and blow away just yet. The rain began to slow, and as I topped one of the foothills, I saw out across the valley and it took my breath away.
In that moment, God revealed a precious truth to me. Some things are much more beautiful when they are dying. And the rain....the rain revived the brilliancy of the leaves. I realize that I am dying! I am dying to myself and as the inner rain falls from my eyes, God is healing some deep wounds that I thought had dried up and blown away long ago. They were still clinging to me and it was time to let go. But first He wanted to color those things with the beauty of love. His love, and the love of my Mother and my husband. I'm ready to move forward. God in His wisdom knew He had to remove the old so that He could bring in the new. Now, when my season changes again to spring, there will be room for me to blossom and bear fruit.
This morning, as I drove to work, I was praying for favor to be upon my husband in a job interview. I kept repeating, "We are blessed and highly favored. We ARE blessed and highly favored." Then it hit me, God's favor doesn't always look like we think it should.
We pray for the house to sell--it doesn't.
We pray for the new position--we don't get it.
We pray for change--everything stays the same.
We pray to move--yet we remain.
We pray to stay--yet we are moved.
And I realize, GOD IS ALL IN IT!! His fingerprints are all over my life, my circumstances, all over ME. It IS His favor because HE orders our steps. (Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 37:23, Jer. 10:23) We can pray, and plan, and obtain good Christian council on a matter, BUT GOD directs our steps.
In my very first bible, my Mother wrote this verse: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I have seen that this applies to every situation in life. Trust and acknowledge God, in all things!
So what does it mean to acknowledge God? It's much more than saying, "I know You are here." Acknowledge does mean to admit or accept that He exists and that He is real and true. But it also means to respond to Him, to receive His answer, His wisdom, His timing, etc. It also means to show appreciation and to express thanksgiving. We are to give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us. (1 Thess.5:18)
God tells me in His word, "Be anxious for nothing..." He constantly reminds me no matter where I am, no matter what plans I make, no matter what road I choose it is He who orders my steps. Therefore, I can release all my hopes, all my dreams, and all my prayers to Him, even as the trees release their colorful leaves, to fall and dance and swirl at His feet.
Yes, I am letting go. But I may just grab a rake and scoop up around myself all the wonderful color of my life; all the love, and all the blessings, and all the wonders of God. Then I think I'll jump in the pile and toss handfuls into the wind, letting the Spirit spread them far and wide. And just maybe some of the love and blessings I have received will touch the life of someone else.