Monday, December 30, 2019

Contemplating Seasons

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14

As some of us have watched the leaves fall to the ground and the winter dig in, causing us to pull out every last blanket and robe to sleep and cuddle under, we can't help but be impacted by the seasons.  Maybe they aren't as visual in your neck of the woods, but no doubt you have some form of seasons in your life where you notice the rhythms of night and day, giving and receiving, or loving and learning.  We are made with the seasons.  It is a good time of year to reflect on them, especially if in your part of the world it is harder to get out and easier to stay home for such contemplation.

I have heard multiple times as Christmas drew nearer how quickly this holiday came due to the calendaring of Thanksgiving.  Boy did I ever experience this as mid December our kids were counting down and it shook me out of my pleasant denial, into the panicky reality of those 12 days of Christmas!

Now that I'm pulling myself out of the wrapping rubble,  I'm enjoying the extra time to listen to the Lord.  The mornings are quiet, no one is up, and I can pull out what now looks like a Santa sack filled with my books, Bible, glasses, all things that accompany me on my journey of considering the seasons and their impact on my life.  Did I mention coffee?

I've noticed there are celebrations and losses in Fall and Winter.  The Beauty of Fall in Northern California, USA is ripe with leaves as big as your hand, acorns everywhere and for us, wind and rain to blow it all around.  Our local market has named me "The Squash Lady" because of all of the Butternut and Kabocha squash I buy.  They thought I owned a restaurant!  The smells of roasting squash is a delight to my senses.

With the season of experiencing beauty, sometimes there is the experience of loss.  The loss of the leaves and the desolation of Winter on the way.  Maybe your plans for the year haven't gone as you had hoped and the open doors have been shut.  God has closed more doors in my life for my good and His glory than opened them.  I have learned to trust both doors, as confusing and painful as it can be in the moment.  I want to encourage you that just because a door has closed does not mean He is not working on your behalf.

With every season there is something to learn if we are willing to look.  We celebrate the unexpected blessings, God's favor upon us, and we notice what God has done through the Thanksgiving celebrations and gratitude's given.  With the falling leaves we also learn experiences of disappointments, pain, and loss.  We learn because we have a chance to experience Jesus in His fullness, the way that He came where he was different than anyone else, "full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14).  Has something fallen away in your life (i.e. health, relationship, trust, trauma)?  When it is time, what is Jesus calling you to learn as a result of this year?  Who can you process this with so that you won't repeat a negative pattern or stay stuck?  Remember that what we don't process we often bury like a bulb in winter and you know what happens come Spring.

When we lose sight of the Truth of Him in us, and what He has built in us, and the Grace He offers, our world can take many detours.  Old paths that had been purposely closed can re-open, new paths of fear can appear and then we are on a racetrack that goes round and round, but the path of the Kingdom, the path that beckons with Jesus just ahead on the path, turned and waiting with his left hand outstretched for me and you to reach out and grab it.  This is the kingdom path where we find that firm strong hand of grace that can help us walk in step with him no matter what.  Sturdy.  When we do He opens up wisdom from His word and Spirit that leads us in truth that gives discernment and clarity when we need it most.  Oh how we need that.  We don't have to be perfect on this path.  But we will be transformed.  Thank the Lord!  We are walking with perfection incarnate.

I'll see you on the path,

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