So much is changing outside the window again and, as it happens every year, so much is changing inside, too. I love how our hearts keep time with the seasons. Everything flows from one mode to the next–no doubt a rhythm God planned long before he created the heavens and the earth. The sunset tonight was a fire lighting up the sky in every color…”Pink! Orange! Purple! White! Red! Blue!” the kiddos shouted out from the backseat. North and south the horizon stretched out especially long, as if God were adding an encore performance to an already knock out show. Nature gets to me like this almost daily. There is always something to amaze, always something to learn from going outside.
As much as God is refining this part of the world right now, newly vibrant colors grabbing attention from treetops and cool breezes blowing away the very last traces of a casual summer, he is doing a major heart work in me, too. I can almost feel the colors warming up inside my spirit; the carefree summer girl in me grows more attentive and introspective while I turn my days inward and put my ear more fervently to the ground. There is always change taking shape from the inside out.
I used to think that fall meant winter was too close on our heels. I’ve never liked the cooped up feeling of cold, gray months, and I’m not much one for ice and snow. But this year I’m settling into autumn a bit more like I imagine God intended me to–taking inventory, preparing for future endeavors, plugging into his Word. I’m so grateful for his nudging in this direction, because I’m finding I crave and depend on it like air some days, and I trust that can’t be a bad thing. It’s been awhile since I’ve exercised the practice of listening for God by asking him to guide me in scripture. Lately, this prayer posture has met me in some of the most beautiful, open places.
I feel raw. Vulnerable. Real. And like I’m finally getting down to some of the heart work God has had for me all along. This changing gig is really amazing.
Maybe this autumn for me is meant to be less about the bright colors, the fall decorations, the focus on exterior things for the sake of holding onto something I love…and more about pulling back layers to discover the bare bones trunk of the sturdy, waiting tree underneath. I know which roots go deep, deep down, and which will help me to blossom again come spring. I am storing up nourishment in preparation for winter, but more than that, I am begging God to undergird me with his Truth–the armor he offers us in this lifetime if we will take it.
There is nothing like it, really, this Truth we have available to us in a book we can readily pull off the shelves. And I believe with my whole heart that the time for me (for all of us) to drench ourselves in Truth and to declare it our own…is right now. This scripture has come to my attention more than once this past week, and as I ask God continually to prepare my heart for the work he wants to do, I praise him for being clear and consistent to my spirit:
“Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” Hebrews 12.25-29
God, help us to be like all of the living creatures on this earth in autumn, storing up nourishment from your Word as we prepare our hearts for seasons of long winter. Help us to remember where we have tucked away all of the wisdom you have poured out to us, that it would feed our souls while we wait for you. Thank you, Father, for the beauty of the changing seasons and for the tangible reminder of your faithfulness in bringing them around to us again and again.
set me aflame like your sunsets, God. like the fiery red and golden bringing my attention to you these days, everywhere i look.