When I got married and left my home state of Michigan, the military decided to send us to the Hawaiian islands. I traded lakes for the ocean and the constant change of seasons for daily sunshine. It was beautiful, but my heart died a little bit as the years went on.
I felt like a child, wishing for Christmas everyday but then realizing that when every day is Christmas, Christmas loses it’s mark. The daily dose of sun satisfied me for a little while, but come October, I was aching for more.
No one from Michigan gave me any sympathy, but I missed fall. I missed the rhythms of the seasons. I missed change.
The Hawaiian sun beat down on my heart and scorched my spirit. I was in a spiritual desert. I wanted to stop, curl up, and draw close to God. But the beach kept calling and the perpetual rays of light dancing through the windows made me feel guilty for wanting to stay inside. There was work to be done and the Kingdom work of hospitality and fellowship were constantly knocking. It was a wonderful thing, but it left me drained, relying on God for the manna of endurance daily.
There are mornings where He met me and lead me gently to the stillness of the sunrise by the ocean’s edge, but now I sense Him calling me into a new season, a season of rest.
Fall is the time when things die. The trees paint a tapestry of gold and red and burnt orange. The leaves let go of the branches they’ve held so tightly too and fall to the ground. We watch our gardens curl within themselves and, if we are really prepared, we might even begin to bury next year’s beauty beneath the soil.
Death is not always painful, sometimes it is a beautiful release. Fall brings the death of summer spontaneity and calls us back into order. It trades outdoor adventures with friends for fireside conversations with soup or tea. It calms us and brings a much needed rest to our lives.
Ultimately, as believers, we are restored through death.
Through death, our lives have been restored. We no longer fear the grave because we know the one who has conquered it. We have seen the end. The victory has been assured.
This victory means that we do not fear seasons of rest. I know my days are short, but I also know that I am not the one who labors, the Lord is. His grace is sufficient for my quiet, fall days. Love is at work, buried deep within me, when the chill in the air brings my days to a halt.
Change, particularly the change is the seasons, reminds us that nothing is permanent. Life is always moving forward. The passage of time remains and will propel our lives towards the end that Christ has determined for us. It is a sign of God’s faithfulness and of His constancy. Just as the seasons each come in their turn, so our lives will find rest and renewal in their ordained time.
So this fall, don’t focus on your season of life. Don’t focus on the divorce, on the child that won’t sleep, on the spouse you’re yearning for, or the baby you long to hold. Focus on the death of Christ and remember with every falling leaf that this too shall pass and that you will rise to a new life.