Fall is my favorite season as the temperatures cool down, school routines have returned now with ease, and the leaves begin to change to vibrant, warm colors. In both the natural and spiritual realms, seasons are so essential and a blessing! Think about how boring life would be if we had one season instead of four every year. Seasons allow for change, growth, and pruning which is so necessary if we want to live out the plans and purposes God has for us.
As I anticipate my family’s yearly weekend retreat to the NC mountains to witness and bask in God’s beautiful creation and evidence of the change in seasons, I am mindful that my itinerary is not flawless, and that God’s plans and purposes are. As we enter new seasons in the spiritual realm, we can encroach upon unknown territory. This presents a crossroad of worry, anxiety, and the pressure to control or a path of openness, trust, hope, and faith, -because after all, there aren’t ever any surprises to God. And that means that he is well equipped, able, and willing to walk with us through every season of our lives.
In Coastal, NC Fall is a season that farewells hurricane season, for the most part. However, past life experiences have taught us that we aren’t quite yet out of hurricane season when Fall begins. The unknown awaits, much like other seasons. The leaves don’t always peak change at the same time every year, and a storm could come any day. Christ demonstrates in the Gospels how to command peace in a storm, and equally important, how to become that peace. In Isaiah 43:2 the Lord affirms to us that he will be with us in those tough seasons; “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Christ reassures us in Hebrews 13:5 that he won’t fail us. His thoughts and ways far exceed our understanding (Isaiah 59:8-9). And his plans and purposes for us are GOOD (Jeremiah 29:11). There are seasons when we will be challenged and disciplined and will be prompted to change ways we are accustomed to (Matthew 9:17). Through all seasons, we can trust that God has us in the palm of his hands, even when seasons look scary or unknown. God makes it clear that we are his treasures and if he makes sure that the birds are taken care of, how much more will he look after us? (Matthew 6:26). Our God is a good good father who wants to bring us into new seasons, not of mere survival, but of growth and abundance. In the midst of what one may perceive as chaos, the one whose identity and future is secured in Christ will be able to withstand the waves, with peace and assurance.
What looks ugly and muddy on the outside is often what shapes and pressurizes God’s masterpieces -Just remember how diamonds are made! He has equipped us with all we need in this season; in the natural, we may need to take out our fall attire that’s tucked away in our closets, or prune and prep our outdoor gardens for the seasons to come. Ask the Lord to reveal to you what this season signifies for you and press into what he is saying. While this season may signify many different things for us all, it is important that we trust God to shape and transform us, whatever that may look like.
May his peace and wisdom guide you into all truth, so that you may run the race marked out for you, and may you embrace the beauty of this season and all it has to offer, trading anxiety for peace.
And so, we anticipate this new season as we run our race and count it all joy! Hello Fall!
By Jessica Williams Duncan