“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecc 3:1
Monday night, I walked down the hallway in my home and paused in front of the thermostat. My toes and fingers ached from the cold and I shivered. Although I could not see my breath, I knew that when I stepped outside the following morning I would.
Frost was coming, and with it, winter.
Fall is a beautiful season in Wisconsin, but it has never been my favorite. Don’t get me wrong – I love pumpkin spice, cozy sweaters and changing leaves, but the cold days and nights of fall only serve to remind me that winter is coming. After leaves change into breathtaking shades of yellow, orange and red, they fall. The ground is covered with a patchwork quilt of warm hues and the trees above lay barren.
It seems as if the entire forest is dying.
Of course, anyone who lives in the Midwest knows that they are merely dormant. Enjoying a six month slumber to be woken by the warmth of spring.
And yet, as with all life, some don’t wake up. Some trees fall, or succumb to disease. Their trunks lay motionless on the forest floor, never to give birth to another leaf, another flower.
And yet, God comes along and makes them beautiful.
While hiking in Door County a month ago, I came across this.
I couldn’t linger long because of my mold allergies, but seeing this, a single passage came to mind.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” – Ecc 3:11
God took this dead stump and decorated it with mushrooms, and a tiny green plant. All to make me pause, admire His creation and think to myself, “How amazing you are, that you can take something seemingly worthless and make it special.”
Some days I feel like I’ve been cut to a stump, like I don’t have any purpose other than to just sit and be glazed over. To be overshadowed by more beautiful things like flowers, birds, towering trees, babbling brooks, and bright sunshine.
Then I remember, God has a plan for everything, in all seasons.
Spring holds the promise of hope and renewal. I am reminded of spring with the birth of a new baby in my extended family, or of the rising of the sun on a new morning.
Summer gives us warmth and joy, like family reunions, vacations, and birthday parties.
Fall is the time to slow down, to prepare for winter. This brings to mind sunsets, or times when I may be struggling to remain positive. It is difficult when winter and its darkness seems imminent, but as with all things I know that this too shall pass.
Winter is the time to be still. To breathe. To pray. To prepare ourselves for the coming of spring, the joy of the Resurrection, and the repeating of the glorious cycle of life.
Whatever season you might be in, weather it’s a good one or a bad one, realize that God is with you, and he has a purpose for whatever you’re going through.
And in his time, in every season, he will make you beautiful.