Today, I have shared this devotion with the readers of Laced with Grace:
As I stepped out into the brisk, cool air this morning, I couldn’t help but think about how Autumn is my most favorite time of year. Not only is it the start of planning for my favorite holidays, but it is also the time of year that I can put some chili or soup on the stove and dress in my favorite sweater and enjoy God’s beautiful tapestry of colors all around me.
Taking a stroll out to the backyard, I see the trees beginning to look different; the rustle of the leaves under my feet tell me instantly that indeed we have come into a new season. The bright colors of red, brown and gold always have intrigued me. Why, just yesterday, weren’t they green and blowing in the wind?
Indeed, a new season can bring a fresh, new perspective. Not only outside, but inwardly, as well.
In scripture Jesus uses a tree, planted by the rivers of water, for us to compare our spiritual life to. In fact, the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
I have heard it said before; “everything happens for a reason.” Even those who are not remotely familiar with religious matters or scriptures can tell us something about “destiny”. The idea of destiny shows up in everything from astrological predictions to romantic movies that lead us to believe that the two main characters are destined to be together. The problem with the world’s view of this “everything happens for a reason” outlook is that there supposedly is a impersonal force of some kind mastering things; rarely, will there be mention of a personal being who not only is directing but giving purpose to all of these things.
“A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:2-8)
These times and seasons that are mentioned in the above scripture encompasses all of life; including the beginning (“a time to be born”) and the end (“a time to die”) to the reaping and harvesting (“a time to plant, and a time to uproot”) and so much more. Life can be repetitive in many ways, but it is not an unending circle. Each season propels us towards a God-ordained goal; it is not that “everything happens for a reason”, rather, “everything happens for God’s reason”.
You and I are much like the changing trees in my backyard; sometimes we come into a season of life where we must allow things to fall away for a time; perhaps it is habits, or a specific ministry or taking our hands off of a certain situation. But as we allow things to fall away, God is preparing us for the new season approaching.
Fall is here, but spring is coming. The fruit will be ripe once again but we must go thru the season change to be prepared for new fruit. There is a time for every season and purpose under heaven because it is what the Lord determines. Friends, our lives are not controlled by some impersonal fate, but our lives are controlled by a gracious God Who has a plan that far exceeds anything that you or I can imagine.
Embrace the season that you find yourself in and look forward to what God is pruning and preparing you for; for there IS a time and a season for EVERYTHING!