I’ve been walking in our neighborhood over the past couple of weeks as the fall foliage has been in its full glory. I took the first picture when all the leaves were a dazzling array of brilliant colors. About a week later, I took the second picture due to the stark contrast in external beauty. Same trees, just different days. It got me thinking about how the underlying qualities of the trees haven’t changed, just the season. Our lives can be very much the same way.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Things to think about:
· The thing with the trees is that to the outside observer, one picture looks like a postcard and the other like something in the delete file. But the reality is those are the exact same trees. Same roots, same trunk, same limbs. The trees didn’t do anything wrong, they aren’t being ravaged by a disease, they haven’t been damaged by a vandal, they are just experiencing the ebbs and flows of life.
· We can often mistake the natural rhythms of life as reward or judgement. In fact, it may just be there are seasons as found in Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes. Here are some typical seasons we go through:
o Feeling of closeness to the Lord
· But there a few unchanging things that are vital to focus on. Think of these as the roots, trunk, and limbs. Even though the beauty of the leaves fell to the ground, the core value of the tree is unchanged:
o Our value
§ Genesis 1:27
- So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of
God he created them;
male and female he created them.
§ The world may not value you as much when you’ve lost your leaves, but you are still made in the image of God
o Our place
§ Colossians 2:6-7 - So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
· Our roots hold us firmly in place and we grow stronger in the Lord as out trunk adds more rings of experience and wisdom each year
o Our eternity
§ Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
· Our circumstances may make us look a little worse for wear and tear, but there is no storm, cold snap, or pest that can uproot us or tear us down. Once we are planted in God’s Kingdom, we’re there to stay.
· The seasons and circumstances will change, but whether things are going really well or not so much, your value, God’s love for you, and your place in the Kingdom are never in jeopardy.