Monday, September 5, 2011

A New Season

As I sit here this evening, my windows are open and a soft breeze is blowing in. The curtains are gently moving as the breeze comes in touching my skin, refreshing my mind, renewing my heart. New beginnings take us from the stagnant past into the future of hope.

I love autumn. There is something so tender about the falling leaves. Each one is released and gently falls to the ground as if to say, "It's a new season. My time here is finished. Hope in tomorrow." There is a season for everything. The bible speaks of those very seasons.

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Whatever season you are in today there is hope. You may be in the season of plenty today with a countenance of joy. You may be in a time of mourning with a touch of despair. Friends, each season brings upon us a new season. I had someone share with me just a few days ago, "Relationships are not like slates to be wiped clean." I must disagree with this statement. Christ came to wash away our sins. He died so that we could have a new beginning with Him. Praise God for His grace that washes peace over us. Peace that we cannot understand, but peace that brings us to the place where we believe and trust in the Lord for all that today brings.

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find Me." Jeremiah 29:11-13

I have been through my share of seasons. There are seasons past and those to come. Each one bringing something new and meaningful to my life. Each one carrying with it a purpose. A purpose to bring me closer to the Lord and to create in me a vessel more like Christ. There are seasons in my life I didn't think I would make it through. Seasons that seemed to take my breath away. But too, there are seasons in my life that have brought great blessings. Without those that bring us to our knees would we really appreciate those that make us stand up and give praise? Might we get to that point in life, that very season, where we are content in all all things.

"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." Romans 12:12

Have you ever been in that season where you shouted out to God, "Why? Why, Lord?" I think we all have. If you have not been there, you will. One day each of us will face that day where we don't understand today and we fear what tomorrow brings. But friends, if we can be still. If we can fall to our knees in prayer, the Lord will lift us up. There is no room for fear in faith. Faith brings a renewed hope. He will bring us through each season. As each season passes we will have a better understanding of those falling leaves. As each one falls there is a new leaf forming. Just beginning to bud, but ever so gently. In God's perfect time it buds and blossoms. It is then we see. We can in that breath release the fear that has held us captive.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 3:3-5

These verses I share with you today have brought me through the seasons of life. Those that have broken me and those that have brought a smile. But through each season, they have all held mercy. We can feel so alone and as if we are the only person going through the struggle of life. Dear friend, you are not alone. Jesus is here. He is waiting to embrace you and set you free of yesterday and all that burdens your heart. Let go and let God today. We cannot always change our circumstances, but we can change our attitude of life. We can rejoice and know that God is real and present in our lives. He is the God of hope. He is the God of new beginnings. How do I know? He is my hope and He brought me to a place where I can let all go and trust Him completely. Surrendering not only my life, but everything to Him.

Just as the leaf falls from the tree, open your hand and release all to Christ. Allow Him to carry your every burden so that you can find a hope renewed. A new beginning.


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