If you live in Southern California, you’ve experienced this miserably hot September and are part of the large group of us who are just waiting with anxious excitement and anticipation for autumn to arrive. We’ve been buying boots and sweaters and scarves with the hope that fall will eventually be upon us, with cool winds and changing leaves and mild enough weather to enjoy our pumpkin spice lattes outside without sweating. The past few weeks have topped 105 degrees several times over, and shorts and tank tops have abounded – not what I am looking for in September outfits of choice. However, the picture above is the weather forecast that I happily gazed upon this morning. Still warm in the eyes of many, but as compared to 100+ outside, I’ll gladly take 80’s. And those little rain drops that appeared for Tuesday next week are a beautiful sight to behold! It means that there is relief approaching. Why am I so surprised? I found myself doubting the forecast of any possibility of this wretched heat ever ending. Yup, that’s me, Negative Nancy over here, and I don’t know why. I have so surrendered to our collective fate of eternal summer that I have somehow manage to forget that no matter how hot the summer is, eventually there is an end and the seasons change.
“No matter how hot the summer is,
eventually there is an end
and the seasons change.”
As much as I had unknowingly resigned myself to an endless summer, haven’t I also knowingly resigned myself to a life without relief? For some reason, I have assumed that because I really, really, really wanted Autumn to come, that means that it surely wouldn’t. I do that with God, too, though! I think, well if I really, really, really want something, then that must mean it isn’t going to happen. And yet I have great confidence in the Word when it says that “if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 7:13) I believe that God does everything in His own perfect irrefutable timing, and that includes the good and the bad. I don’t know how my beliefs were infiltrated by some understanding of anything I want being completely opposed to anything God wants, but those two things are definitely not mutually exclusive. Jesus prayed for God’s will to be done, and I certainly need to pray that, as well, and learn to align my desires with His. But I need to change my way of thinking to be more about what He actually says!
Here is where the real application takes place. As much as I was worried the Fall would never come, I was even more worried that this season of deep hurt and confusion and ultimately, of God’s refining process in my life would never end. I had resigned myself to an attitude of disappointment and blatant disregard for the blessings and joys that were so apparent. And this past weekend, I felt the season start to shift in my own heart, as well. Just as the autumn wind began to blow, I found my heart stirring in a way that was hopeful for the first time in much longer than I would like to admit. God opened my eyes to see ways our relationship has grown in this last season, and to appreciate the benefits of rebuilding a stronger foundation than what had been there before. And though the growth and stretching and refinement truly will never be over while I am still on the earth, I have great hope in the changing season and what will be around the corner in my life and work and school and family and friends. Marking today as a new day and the beginning of something fresh.