Fall is a time of changing landscapes and changing colours. The picturesque local scenes remind us that the seasons are moving forward and that God is preparing His creation for winter. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful area that displays such a wonderful array of changing leaves. It reminds us to “look up” and “take stock” of God's creation. I find that fall causes me to do exactly that: to stop and reflect on God’s hand on my life and His faithfulness in leading me, day by day.
As we start this week, as I gaze at the leaves that are quickly starting to accumulate in my yard to prepare the earth for winter, I am reminded of how God…
Has prepared me to walk with HIM. He has given me the precious gift of His Son to save me, cleanse me and to empower me to walk in fellowship with Him. Jesus rose from the dead so that we could literally live in the power of the resurrection (Philippians 3:10). As things change in my life, as challenges come and go, the fall reminds me that, in the midst of changes, God is always with me and will be by my side. You are my “Good shepherd” and “my constant guide” (Psalm 23 – Psalms Now).
The fall reminds me that these changes in my life are sometimes for a season. It helps me see things from a thankful and positive perspective.
Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning, the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God that it is not always like this."
The changing colours also remind me of what is to come. Although this world is incredibly beautiful, it is only a fragment of what God is preparing for us in eternity. The future world that we will inhabit we cannot even fully comprehend. It will be absolutely amazing. The beauty of our present world is just a foretaste of the beauty and creativity we will enjoy. Again, as I said Sunday, Resurrection is the key!
I close with something from Warren Wiersby’s commentary on Colossians. He talks about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded, again and again, into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.
May the fall colours prompt us, once again, to reflect on God’s handiwork in our lives and how much we have to be thankful for. We cannot underestimate the power of thankfulness. Thankfulness starts by looking up. As we look up, to see the beauty around us, may we be a people who take time to praise Him for His goodness. As Jeremiah wrote so long ago, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentation 3:22-23 (ESV)). Amen.
Have a great week – Pastor Ralph