Fall Feelings

Every year the summer sizzle comes to an end, and the cool breeze of fall makes its way into our hearts & lives. This weather change triggers a tug in me for scarves, lattes, and crunching leaves beneath my feet – all things that bring a grin to my face. Because I am instinctively nostalgic about life, it also triggers me to think about the changing seasons of life. Go ahead and read the passage below to understand what I mean.

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Here is what I find interesting about this passage. Each stanza highlights both a positive and a negative season, signaling both a promised beginning and end to each. Lately I haven’t been in my favorite season. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am infinitely blessed by God, and have had some really positive things happening in my life, but the overarching feel of this season is hardship.

If you are like me, you have experienced scenarios that make you feel like you are changed forever. They cause you to look back and realize that there is a clear difference between who you were before the scenario happened, and who you turned into after. Luckily, not all of those scenarios are bad. One example of a positive life moment was meeting my husband. He changed the course of my life in the best way. When I’m trying to be sweet to him I say that my life didn’t start getting really good until he entered it. Although that shows that maybe I’m thinking too negatively about all that happened before him (I am only human after all), I really do mean it. There are more good days than bad ones with him. Also, I think about the first missions trip that I went on. Experiencing another culture and letting God break my heart for it changed me in an irreversible way. Every time I go on a trip my dad says, “haven’t you gotten that out of your system yet?” Sorry Dad, I haven’t, and truthfully never will. Seeing the beautiful world that God created is an incredible experience that leaves you wanting more. And again, if you are like me (and the scripture verses above point to this being inevitable), you have experienced those tough scenarios that I referenced before. Thinking back on some of those experiences makes my heart physically hurt. Those experiences are hard to get past. They take pieces of you with them, and they feel like they will go on forever. I know that right now you are probably thinking of your own tough scenarios. Well I’m here to remind you, as well as myself, the seasons change.

It’s human nature to put your focus on the negative things in life. That innate desire to let your mind swirl in negativity came with the fall… no, not fall as in autumn… I’m talkin’ the fall of humanity here ;). Why do I know that, you ask? Because God is only good. Had Adam and Eve not sinned, life would only be filled with the joy of The Lord. Thankfully, that joy will be made complete when we get to heaven.

If we aren’t careful, focusing on all the negativity can give us a little bit of tunnel vision. In my worst moments of negativity I feel powerless to my surroundings, to people, to the universe, or to my thoughts… etc. It’s a very difficult place to be, and you feel like the hope of Jesus is sucked away from you. In those powerless times, you feel like it’s you against the world. Thats where the power of God’s truth comes in. My bible says “He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). These words are power to the “powerless”. Now, if you were listening to me say all of this rather than reading it, I would have been doing air quotes right there. The reason for the air quote action is because if we are rooted in Christ, we are the winners all along. Negative mindsets just keep us from knowing that we are winners. In the thick of it we may think that we are on our own, abandoned to drown, but we never are. That brings me to one of the greatest lessons that I’m constantly relearning. Fighting the battle of a negative season calls for us all to widen our lens. God’s word helps me do that. Instead of focusing on the negative thoughts that harass your mind, leaving you seeing and feeling only bad things, fill yourself with the truth of The Lord. When you do this you will see that there is an end to a bad season. You will see that the next season can, and most likely will be good. You will see that God has control over your life, and because he works everything together for good, you are going to be OKAY! Whew! The devil wants nothing more than to make you feel powerless during your struggles. Again, filling you with truth, it says in the bible to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. God has given us power, so do that starting today.

So here are some things to remember:

  1. The seasons change. You won’t be stuck in a difficult one forever.
  2. The devil wants to make you feel powerless. Guess what, you’re not though… he just wants to make you think you are.
  3. We may not be able to change what happens in life, but God’s word brings the life that we need to fight the battle of a difficult season.
  4. No matter what, if you acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, you win.

Open your heart and breathe a sigh of relief because God’s truth is greater than the devil’s tricks.

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