I love the fall. The leaves start to turn their various shades of color. The shorter, and much cooler days are refreshing. I have a lot of fond memories during this time of year, so there is a lot of nostalgia for me too. I grew up on an apple orchard, so the fall always reminds me of harvest. There are also memories of squirrel and deer season and the first time my grandpa took me bow hunting. I’m OK saying goodbye to the summer heat and humidity. It’ll be back soon enough. It always is. The grass is turning brown, and the leaves are dying on the trees, but there is a lot of beauty.
It’s been a difficult couple of months for our church. We lost two beloved members who are safe in the arms of Jesus. Last week, a pastor down in Georgia I’ve known for a few decades passed away. He invited me to preach for him a few months after my wife and I were married. She had only seen the ocean once, so he took us to Savannah, then Tybee Island. It snowed. That doesn’t happen very often, but that’s what happens in the winter, even in Georgia.
It’s not all bad. The Lord has answered a great many of our prayers. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget, in the hard times, how often God has delivered me out of previous hard times. The Lord would have us to be thankful people. Always look for God’s blessings and acknowledge His goodness to us. It’s hard to think about all God’s done for you if you don’t take a few minutes to think about what’s going on around you. I rode my bicycle down the Elk River Trail, then through the town of Clendenin, and it’s funny what you notice on a bicycle that you just drive right past in a car. Taking the time to notice what’s around you and living with your eyes open gives you ample opportunity to thank God for what he’s done for you today.
Sometimes it feels like time is just moving too fast. I’d like to press pause for a few minutes, catch my breath and get my bearings. Too many decisions to make and hardly enough time to sort them out, let alone know exactly what to do. But that’s not how time works. You can’t pause it, slow it down, or rewind it to better days. We live by faith.
I love the fall. And then, when winter comes, it’s cold and snowy, and I’ll enjoy that for a while, too, before I start thinking about springtime, trout fishing, and spring training. I can look forward to it, and expect it because God is faithful (Genesis 8:22). He keeps His promises. Life can be hard. It’s definitely unpredictable. There are many trials of our faith, but as the people of God, we know they won’t last forever. It’s just a season (1 Peter 1:6-7).