There's just something that I can't pinpoint about this time of year that makes my heart warm. Maybe driving down the road while the wind is blowing colorful leaves in a pattern that only God could create. Or that crisp air that invites you to enjoy it on a relaxing run. Or the chilly evenings that make you want to cuddle up beside a fire with a sweatshirt while sipping hot cider. Perfection.
Ironically, that doesn't seem to be as true in life. With weather, we know what is ahead of us and we can prepare for it. Life doesn't seem to unfold quite so nicely sometimes (at least not at our viewpoint).
Change can be trying, challenging and for the most part, we may only appreciated in hindsight. I made a scrapbook my senior year in high school, documenting the previous years of sports, dances, vacations and all of the in-between. At the time, going to college was the biggest change I was about to encounter and standing in the scrapbook store, I saw this verse printed on colorful paper:
"There is a time for everything,
I put it in on the front page of my scrapbook, thinking I was quite clever. You know, one of those verses that is quoted over and over because it's catchy and makes us feel better, but maybe the point never really gets across. I just glued it to the front page of that book with little knowledge of how powerful those verses were (are).
Now that I'm older and mature (or at least feel like an old woman at heart and the maturity may be questionable), I have context of life that makes this verse resonate with resounding gongs. Perhaps times so loud it's painful. I read an article that put it perfectly; these verses are telling us to expect change, accept limitations, enjoy life, and fear God.
In hindsight, it seems obvious that Solomon would write these sentences, only to be followed by the reminder that,
"...God makes everything beautiful in its time."
Ah, Ha. Many things are easier in hindsight. There's been plenty of times I've said, "okay, God, I get it now," and just as many that leave me with more questions than answers, even now. What causes us to say the former is that we get to see a bigger picture, see how things played out and then, only then, trust the Lord and his timing. I'm completely humbled by this, because as Solomon (and many other authors of the Bible) have reminded us time and time again, we can trust God right out of the gate. No inhibitions. None of this hindsight nonsense, not when he has proven himself for the umptenth time, not when I get to understand. Because truly, that's not faith at all. Yet I'd be lying if I said I didn't get caught in that messy web of trying to control a situation myself, thinking my abilities are greater than the one who gave them to me.
Just as with the seasons, change is inevitable. Life, it happens. It just seems so tangible to me right now. For us, for our friends, in our families. Many are celebrating, many equally mourning. As much as I need to be nudged, reminded and encouraged of how simply good and faithful the Lord is, no matter the circumstance, I think others may need to be too. Our situations may change. God doesn't. Our plans may fail. God won't.
For the good or the bad, there will never be a time when change isn't occurring, and there will never be a time when we are walking through it alone.
Sometimes during a long workday, I plug in the earphones, turn on Pandora and just listen to music while I work away. While I was about to publish this post, this song came on. Hopefully you'll find it as refreshing as I have.