The colors here in Colorado have been taking my breath away this past month. Everywhere I turn, glorious shades of crimson and gold are there to meet my gaze, and the sunlight bursting through the branches before dusk has become one of my favorite moments of the day. Nature testifies of our Creator, and it is simply magnificent. This stunning October has been such a refreshment to my heart + a reminder that there truly is beauty to be found in change.
Seasons of change don't always come easily for me, so the Lord has truly been using this autumn to speak deep truths over my heart regarding change. Perhaps you find yourself in a time of transition as well - maybe your life looks so different right now than you had envisioned it would, and there are still mysterious puzzle pieces of your life that you are lacking answers for. And if this is you friend, I am right there with you.
We as people are so quick to judge a person or a situation by what we see on the outside, and I think we tend to do the same thing when it comes to different seasons of our lives. Think about it - as soon as fall arrives, everyone hires photographers for their family photos, carves out time in their busy schedules to take walks or drives through the falling leaves, or (if you're a Coloradoan ;) heads straight for the mountains to catch a glimpse of all the glorious colors to be seen there.
Why is that? Why is it that people who all handle change differently in their personal lives can unite around celebrating this change we call autumn and enjoy the striking tones of red and yellow all around?
Well, simply put...it's because it's beautiful! We as people love beauty, and since we see this change as a beautiful one, we are attracted to it. On the flip side, we tend to resent things in life that lack beauty, and visually are quite drab and boring. And we can tend to judge different seasons of life that the Lord walks us through as either "good" or "bad" based off of its appearance to us.
There are some changes that we look forward to - if you're single, you may long deeply to be married. If you don't have children yet, that may be your heart's greatest desire. Perhaps a trip coming up, a new and exciting place you're moving to, or a college degree you're just about finished with. But there are other changes that are so much harder - moving away from a home you've made so many special memories in, losing a loved one, friendships changing through the years, or a relationship being called off.
And yet God has something very important to reveal to our hearts + to teach us in every single one of those seasons, whether we see it as an enjoyable one or not. Because our human-vision is so limited and earthly, we fail to realize the necessity of each chapter of our lives + we grow weary in believing that the Lord will bring beauty from it, simply because we don't see the beauty NOW. Let me assure you friend, HE DOES NOTHING BY CHANCE OR ACCIDENT. Our Heavenly Father does not forget the desires deep within us, and He certainly does not take pleasure in watching His children suffer just for the sake of it. If He is asking you to wait for something, then there is a purpose for it. And if He is asking you to move forward into an unknown territory that you've never stepped foot in before, there is a purpose for it, and He will be with you every moment of the journey.
From the day we are born until the day that we die, our lives will constantly be changing, no matter how "scheduled and planned" of a person we would like to be. There are only a few things that do not change: The Lord - His character + nature will always be the same. And for those of us who have chosen to place our trust in Jesus as our Savior, we will spend all of ETERNITY with our Father in heaven after this life on earth is over, and that will never change. But aside from that, nothing in our short lives here on earth is permanent - everything is temporary and changing. So if we resent change and do not learn to trust the Lord in the midst of it, we are in for a miserable life since change isn't going away.
"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." ~Philippians 4:11
"He [Jesus] said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.'" ~Acts 1:7
There are many things in life that will be a mystery to us - which is why we are called to walk by faith and NOT by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We are called to trust in the Lord with all of our heart and to LEAN NOT on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), which tells us that there WILL be things in our life that we simply do not understand.
There's this controlling part of each of us that wants to know the "why" behind everything, how long each trial will last, and what the outcome of every situation will be. But that is simply not promised to us. What we are promised is that the Lord sees each one of our days and is working all things together for good for those who love Him.
Whether or not your season "looks beautiful" right now or not, it is so so important! And the Lord would not be walking you through it right now if it wasn't of incredible value. He will take even the most broken areas and bring beauty from them, though you may not be able to see how yet. No season lasts forever, but while it does last, be assured that God is working, no matter what you see on the surface.
If we learn to trust in the wisdom of the Lord and not lean on our own understanding, we can know what it truly means to find joy + beauty in each situation, because our hope isn't found in how beautiful the season *looks* on the outside, but it is securely anchored in who we know Our God to be, and HE WILL NEVER CHANGE! Contentment isn't found when all the problems are solved + all the answers are given...contentment is found in taking our eyes off of our circumstances and placing them on Jesus Christ + what His Word says. THEN we will be able to say along with Paul:
"...I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." ~Philippians 4:11b