Stepping through the garage door I was surprised. It was cooler than I expected, a nip was in the air. The first sign of fall’s arrival.
As I walked, the trees in the neighborhood and along the river trail, reflected fall’s influence, a shift from green to golden yellow, with dapples of orange and bright red.
Fall’s change came silently but I love the shift, a move to a slower, more intentional season.
Just as nature has a natural rhythm, we experience different seasons in our lives. Times of hope springing from a desolate winter or a period of growth resulting from the heat of summer. At times our seasons come without notice but frequently they come on the back of a storm -violently and relentlessly.
I’ve recently experienced a seasonal shift. A period of growth sprinkled with a few storms. The young daughter of a friend passed far too quickly. New relationships have formed, old ones have grown, changed, and there have been sad goodbyes. Clarity of purpose, conviction, and direction have all been the gifts of this season. I can say, all the experiences have left a deep impression on my heart.
I wonder if you have experienced a life-season shift? Maybe it came like a gentle breeze, welcomed relief during a dry and parched period. Or perhaps like my experience, it was a mixed weather system – a little rain mingled with the jagged edges of the first hailstorm.
One thing we can count on is the seasons of our life will shift and change. And if you feel stuck in a stormy period, this truth can offer a little hope – in time, this storm, this hard place, these circumstances, will pass.
I recently learned some interesting fall-farming facts. Did you know that farmers use the fall season to prepare their land for the following year’s crops? The fields are turned over by a machine called a rototiller. The large circular blades are pulled by a tractor and can be adjusted to varying depths. But before the farmer can start the process, they have to remove any stones that have worked their way to the surface. This is a tedious job, walking the acres of land and picking up the loose rocks that could damage the rototiller’s blades. Once the farmer is comfortable that the land is free of stones, then he starts the tractor’s engine and begins the long journey of plowing his field.
I think this fall, I’m going to take a little time and walk the fields that comprise my life. Perhaps the freeze and thaws of my winter seasons have caused the stony parts of my heart to break off and surface. And instead of allowing them to stay buried and cause any further damage, maybe I can ask God for the courage to pick them up and surrender them to Him.
Maybe, I can do the work necessary to prepare me for whatever season I will face next, free of the boulders of judgment, fear, anger, frustration, and pride – resting instead in the promise that God remains the rock of my present and future.
I hope that if you have any hard spots left by difficult seasons, you too can find the courage to identify them and surrender them to the Firm Rock that is our God.
“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.”
Isaiah 28:16 (New Living Translation)