Seasons of Life
There is a beautiful Japanese Maple tree in my front yard and I love that God gave me such a precious gift. Right now she is beginning to let go of her leaves. Those leaves have changed from a lush green color to an extraordinary, fiery red. There's a collection of them scattered around the ground beneath her at the moment. But I know that soon a gusty wind will blow, the rain will fall, and most of her leaves will be gone.
Once winter arrives she will stand with empty limbs void of any color that resembles life or growth. Through the cold, the frost, the snow and even the harshest winter storms, that tree will seem to have shuttered itself, revealing no signs of life, almost unrecognizable to those of us who have admired her beautiful offering.
Just about the time we've forgotten that she's even there, as the very beginnings of Spring begin to show, we'll notice there are tiny little buds of green beginning to show on those branches that have been barren for months.
I think I love that tree so much because she reminds me of God's goodness and faithfulness in our own lives. You and I go through seasons. Some are sweet and fresh like Spring. Summer brings fullness and so much growth we can hardly contain all the blessings. Then Autumn comes and while we revel in the rich, vibrant colors that God has added to our lives, we find ourselves knowing that we must be willing to let go. Winter seasons can be so harsh, so empty. I've learned that in those seasons I am especially in need of growing deeper. Maybe that's what is happening inside my tree. Perhaps, without the leaves on her branches her roots are concentrating on digging even deeper into the soil. Absorbing all the warmth from the sun that she can contain.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 (NLT) tells us, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." In all of those seasons God is with us. Some things that we experience in life are inevitable. But we do get to choose how we live each season out. Even when we find ourselves in the harshest winter season we can choose to dig deep into the richness of our Creator. And there is hope that the next season of life is on its way.