As the weather changes, temps drop and leaves change, I am always reminded of the predictability of nature. Every year in Georgia, I have watched this event, autumn, unfold with the wonder of a child. I can’t get over the amazing way that a green leaf becomes a yellow, red or orange hue. Some years it happens earlier or later than the previous year; some years are prettier than others, but it always occurs in one way or another. If you are from farther up north, the phenomena is even more spectacular as the colors become ultra vibrant and breathtaking. So, not only is autumn predictable, it is also beautiful which causes me to ponder life, especially during our current climate of division, uncertainty and downright brokenness.
This current “season” that we find ourselves in the world is not in the least bit beautiful. It is painful, depressing and even a little scary. However, if we are followers of Jesus, I do believe upon closer inspection we can find some parallels between the beauty of autumn and the world we are living in. First, this season of unrest in 2020 is absolutely predictable. In fact, Jesus predicted it over 2000 years ago. Consider his words to the disciples in John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus never even suggested that life would be easy for the disciples. He predicted their persecution, their discouragement and even their death. Yet, he doesn’t leave them with this. He actually goes ahead and gives them clear imperatives on how they need to approach these times. He says, “take heart”…which literally means – be “courageous” and “confident” when tough times come. So, even though the world seems to become more troubling with each passing day, we are comforted by the truth that God has overcome (conquered) the world.
While trouble in this world is inevitable, we have a predictable outcome – VICTORY!
A second truth that we can hold onto as we look at the beauty of autumn is that beauty is found in embracing change. Think about it. Green leaves are pretty. They symbolize life and health. The color green is associated with living things, so in essence, green should be our preferred color, but no one is upset when the color starts appearing. In fact, we love the color and relish in a trip to peruse the changing leaves. I recently took a trip through the Shenandoah Valley and observed a myriad of colors: red, gold, orange.., and it was indeed beautiful. It sounds silly that I would look at the amazing colors and say, “I wish it was still green”. So, perhaps this is how I should view the change in life.
As humans, we typically fight change with every ounce of our being. We want things to stay the same because it is comfortable, but change is unavoidable. Some change is ok, but when it comes in the form of losing someone we love, having to change jobs or adjusting to a new health diagnosis, or any other tough issue, change is not welcome. However, maybe we can learn to see these changes differently. Perhaps we should learn to see the “beautiful” in the change. Yes, we may still wish for the “green” again, but as the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us, He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. Now, I am not suggesting that some things are not extremely difficult and that we don’t need to grieve during loss because that is a part of the human experience. Yet, after a while, autumn can remind us that change can bring beauty.
Let’s don’t be afraid to embrace the “new colors” that God brings knowing that in His hands they can be BEAUTIFUL!
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