A few weeks ago, I was traveling north on Interstate 77 when I happened to glance left and noticed a moving truck and a house….on a road I didn’t know existed. It was quite close to the interstate, but I had never noticed it because I had never looked when the leaves were gone. Yet on that day, autumn had slipped in and stolen all the leaves from the trees and left behind truth…..the truth that, although I assumed there was nothing on the other side of that copse of trees, in actuality there was a house.
It made me think about our own autumns. Yes, we’ve discussed seasons a couple of times, but apparently I’m not done. So, hang on, here we go again!
The thought that struck me about those trees was that they were naked. You know….stripped of their normal coverings. Well, the seasons in our lives can do the same thing to us. The dear husband and I have been in our own season of stripping away. The “things” that we were able to hide behind are all gone. Our finances are, by worldly standards, horrible. We are (finally) both employed full-time. But the employment is in retail which, quite frankly, would have been our last choice. Our circle of friends has changed. Our church attendance has been less than stellar. (Remember…retail schedules.) But….and this is a big one….we are closer to God than ever. And I think the trees hiding the house is a good analogy to explain it.
See…with the changes in our lives, we’ve had to hunker down and focus on what’s important. The superfluous has been stripped away and we’re left with what really matters. Our faith has grown from a head knowledge type of yes-I-know-God-will-provide to a where-the-rubber-meets-the-road, faith-is-all-I-have utter assurance that God will keep His promises. His timing has proven to be perfect over and again….even when I’m trembling with fear watching the clock. I started this year confident in my relationship with God and hopeful for a good year. I am ending this year with the absolute knowledge that what I thought I knew about God was just a shadow of what I know now and the faith that whatever may come up, He will get me through it. I’m no longer necessarily hopeful for good circumstances, but hopeful that God will be there. And I’m using hope in this form – to expect with confidence.
The downfall of this is that I have grown impatient. My tolerance of folks who complain over little things has gone down dramatically. Hate where you are and what you’re doing? Change it. Or change your attitude. But, know that constant complaining isn’t what God wants from His children. This doesn’t attract other people to your Jesus. If you’ll recall, part of the reason the Israelites took so long to get to the Promised Land was their murmuring- also known as complaining. Look for the lesson in your season, learn it and pray for it to pass quickly. And praise. That’s the ticket to any of life’s situation – praise God for Who He is. He deserves our praise even when we don’t feel like it.
So….the point of this? I don’t know. I want you to know that no matter how hard life is, God is still good. That I will serve Him no matter what. That my faith in man has wavered, but my faith in God has grown. That I have discovered that it truly is possible to be content, even in bad circumstances – just as Paul said. And that much of the stuff we think is important really isn’t.
I pray you’re in a good season of life. I hope all is well with you. But, if not, I hope that God is growing your faith in Him and you are learning to be content in all situations.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.