Growing up in Western New York and then making our home in Central New York has provided my husband and me plenty of years of experience with changing seasons.
While we’ve never experienced a hurricane (praise Jesus), we do have stories to share of abundant snowfall. We’ve gone to bed with light snow falling only to wake up the next morning to discover ourselves blanketed under three, or more, feet of snow. Our community once had 115 inches of snow over nine days when the lake-effect machine failed to shut off. So, as you can imagine, the changing of seasons also provides an adequate opportunity to either cheer or mourn, our loss or gain – depending on how we decide to look at it.
This thought occurred to me not too long ago as I realized my outlook of the fall season seemed less than enthusiastic this year. It’s a shame really; I love fall. The vibrant colors of the leaves, apple picking, pumpkin everything, football and all those comfy, cozy sweaters. But, with a very rainy summer behind us (one of the wettest January-to-July periods on record), I’m not ready for summer to end. Honestly, I – along with many – am still waiting for summer to arrive.
I was a bit convicted when I noticed how often conversations about the fall weather turned into grumbles of you-know-what-that-means-don’t-you? We all know what comes after fall, right? Winter. Ugh. Snow. Cold. Shovels. Snowblowers. My husband and I often threaten winter with statements like, as soon as retirement hits, we are moving south! As if the threat will force Old Man Winter to drop everything and exclaim, “Oh No! Not another snowbird!
Then, without warning, I felt the Lord whisper to my spirit, Dreading winter won’t keep it from coming, but it will cause you to miss the beauty of fall. Oh, Ouch. I’ll take that as a polite hint to readjust my focus and let go of the worries about what is to come and enjoy what is before me. He did, after all, make it clear in Genesis 8:22 that “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night” (NLT). What jumps out to me? As long as …. there will be….
I needed to see this so I could understand that allowing myself to fret over the there will be (outcome)—while forewarned there is nothing I can do while as long as (reason)—remains, will steal my joy in that moment. My responsibility is to remain watchful of where I allow my thoughts to lead my attitude when I see an outcome approaching that may not thrill me.
I guess this means as long as Pat and I live in Central New York, there will be blustery, cold, and snowy winters for us to endure. But I won’t think on that. I will appreciate the beauty of today as the leaves begin to paint the area with tremendous color. I’ll enjoy a walk outdoors when I can and offer up my praise to the One who changes my identity – one letter at a time. I will listen and heed His instruction to not worry about my life because He has great care for me (Matthew 6:25).
Is there a, as long as … there will be, causing worry in your heart today? Be still before Him and trust Him with the outcome.
Read more by Kolleen at http://www.speakkolleen.com/