Friday, October 4, 2019

Something New

Here in Texas we are still awaiting the arrival of the first cold front. We long for the day when the wind blows in from the north, dropping the temperature and sweeping away the heat and dust of summer.  We dream of pulling warm sweaters and cozy quilts out of our closets, pouring a hot cup of tea and snuggling down with that book we've been saving for just such a day and wonder if it's too soon for a fire in the fireplace.

We know better than to look for a magnificent blaze of color throughout our landscape, but here and there we catch glimpses of autumn peeping out of the branches. It's an annual miracle - this changing of the colors - the precursor to a season of deep rest.

The science behind this dramatic turning of leaves from green to gold, red, orange or russet is fascinating - a small peek into the wonder of God's creation. At the same time another change takes place in the tree - one we cannot see. As the leaves fade, a chemical is produced at the base of the stem that slowly separates the tissues that support it and also suspends the growth of the tree. When the winds blow, the leaves give way and fall to the ground leaving a tiny scar to mark the place where they had been. Now the tree settles in for a time of rest. To all appearances it is dead, but it has simply slowed down. Throughout the winter it waits until the time is right for it to begin to burst with new life.

We often find ourselves in a season where it seems the abundant we life we long for and have experienced in the past is dead. It comes to all of us - times of sorrow, illness, unexpected circumstances or just plain weariness - times when what was productive and fruitful is no longer working. We long to see things improve - to put the heaviness and discouragement behind us and find new life.

God allows these times to come to us. Just as with the trees, He knows it will eventually be for our good. When they come, He invites us to rest in Him - to allow Him to sever the old, heal the wounds and prepare us for something new. While we wait He works. Without the sloughing off of the old, there can be no new growth. It will come, in its time. In the meantime, He calls us to come rest our weary hearts and allow Him to draw us ever closer.

“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43: 18,19