Seasons: Day 5
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways, declares the Lord…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty. But will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
As I write this, it is still August and still hot. However, in the little garden by my front porch something interesting has happened. The day lilies, whose spent foliage stood like brittle, brown sentinels during the hottest part of the summer, are sending up new green leaves. On more than one occasion, I was sorely tempted to pull up my little garden eyesores and be done with it. Only one thing stopped me: those husks could be providing shade and protection for tender life beneath the soil.
And in these last days of the month, even the August heat doesn’t seem quite as brutal. Early morning breezes and shorter days give hope—to people and plants—that a new season is coming.
The following is a story I have heard many times over the years, and more frequently as I get older. The circumstances may change, but the power of the underlying truth is always the same…
There is a Christian, not merely a church-goer, but a true believer in God’s Word. Over the years, this person not only read and meditated on that Word, but has learned to love and trust the God who revealed Himself through it.
Then one day, something happens. It may be a devastating health issue, an unthinkable family tragedy, or anything that has “This was not supposed to happen to me” stamped on it. Over time, what had always been taken for security, slowly ebbs away. Yet, in the midst of it all, this one finds they are learning to trust the Lord more deeply. Even when they cannot gather their thoughts to pray or read His Word, they experience God’s quiet assurance.
Then, months or years later, the signs of a new chapter—a new season—begins to emerge in that life. With it a new hope: not a hope of perfect endings, but a hope in God that has nothing to do with ideal circumstances or perfect outcomes. It is then that the person comes to realize that through it all, and especially at the worst, the Lord was a sheltering presence who had protected His life in them. And, in His time, it would emerge again, to grow and bloom for another season.