There are people who love autumn, people whose favorite season is the fall. There are people who begin to decorate for Christmas at the first whiff of coolness in the air. There are people who dream of winter and cocoa by a fire and snuggling up under a blanket to read. Okay, yes. That part's sounding really pretty good, but I AM A SUMMER GIRL.
Summer. Summer. Summer. Summer. SUMMER!
I kind of leave summer – or rather, it leaves me – kicking and pouting. Sometimes crying. Sometimes not believing that good is still coming.
I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to trust God, but I’m growing. Trust is growing in me. It’s not so much the summer that I love as the expressions of God’s beauty displayed in it. And God is in the autumn,too. He’s in the winter, the spring, and the summer to come. Rhythms of his grace surround me and precede me. There is beauty all around if I will but open the eyes of my heart to welcome it.
One of my favorite memories took place during a time away on a personal retreat near Buena Vista, Colorado. It was…autumn. (Surprise!) I had gone for a walk in the woods following a path along a stream. The aspens had turned their glorious golden hue and in the slight breeze were shedding their flower-like leaves. The path was strewn with gold as I softly padded along.
“Well, if the streets in heaven are gold like THIS, then that will be beautiful!” Sometimes I surprise myself. My unconscious thoughts emerge in the most unexpected of times. I realized that I had pictured the streets of gold in heaven as solid and hard, cold and undesirable. But this gold – this living, moving exhibition – was filled with splendor. Surely our divinely gorgeous and creative God will outdo himself beyond my best but limited imagination!
I sat down on a fallen tree and soaked it in. I was surrounded by glory. All my senses were taking in the wondrous works of our God. The fragrant earth. The rippling stream. The gentle cool breeze. The feel of the wood beneath me. I could practically taste the pungent season. I talked with God. I listened to his still, small voice.
And I didn’t want to leave. But eventually, my time ran out and sadly, I had to get up and return.
I saw that I could take a different path back, one that was new to me. It curved in the distance and I could not see what was coming. “Just like your life.” God whispered. Yes, I thought, just like my life. “There is beauty ahead, Stasi. But you will never see it, never experience it, if you choose to stay where you are.”
I chose the new path. My eyes were open and expectant for the fresh gifts that my God had for me. Correction: that he HAS for me. For he holds the future. He precedes us. And because he does, a great good is coming because he is there.
So fall is here and it’s raining. And I welcome both it and all the good that is ahead!
“As I lay, with my eyes closed, I began to listen to the sound of the leaves overhead. At first, they made sweet, inarticulate music alone; but, by-and-by, the sound seemed to begin to take shape, and to be gradually molding itself into words; till, at last, I seemed able to distinguish these, half-dissolved in a little ocean of circumfluent tones: 'A great good is coming — is coming — is coming to thee, Anodos'; and so over and over again.” ~ George MacDonald, Phantastes