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Faithful and True

Do you love Fall? I do…and I don’t. 

I love the gorgeous colors of fall.  The flaming red, burnt orange, and golden yellow hues bring a smile to my lips as I gaze on their beauty and make my, not quite, daily walks more enjoyable. The days of bright sunshine and brisk cool temperatures are refreshing after a long hot summer. I don’t even mind the occasional rainy days because I know they aid in the vividness of the changing color in the trees all around me. Those are the perfect days to sit with a cup of tea, my comfy lap quilt and a good book and read away to my heart's content. Even as the light begins to fade earlier in the evenings, it seems to grant permission to take more time in the evenings to enjoy some comfort food and movie time with the family. And more time for reading.  

I love the cooler temps. Yes to sweater weather!  Mind you I said cooler, not cold. That’s the problem..when fall hits I know winter is close on its heels. I’m not as fond of winter. I don’t like wearing coats. Do you? 

I love all things apple…but not all things pumpkin. Don’t hate me, but pumpkin spice? Yuck! Just give me a slice of apple pie, or a bowl of apple crisp and a nice steaming hot cup of black coffee. Yes!

And what is it about fall that makes me want to buy new pens and notebooks, and books? Well…I always want to buy books. But I’m a little old to be buying school supplies. And yet,  the excitement of a new season is still there. Sort of a mid-year reawakening. An opportunity to begin again.  But it’s not so much about new life that we think about in spring, but a putting off of the old. Dropping our leaves, so to speak. 

Which brings me to something I don’t like about Fall. All the dead leaves. I wouldn’t mind it so much except that we have so many trees on our property we live in a veritable forest. Our grandson says we live in The Forest of Chesterfield. And that requires not one but multiple leaf blowing sessions throughout the entire season. The cooler temps beckon me to sit out on our deck and drink coffee in the mornings, but the leaves are taking over the chairs, the tables and even fall into my mug. Ugh! Except, with those falling leaves I can finally see the birds in the trees around our backyard. I love birds! 

As you can see, I sort of have a love/hate relationship with Fall. One thing about Fall in our area of the country is that it can be trusted. It always arrives. Some years the color palette is not as gloriously vivid as others, but the leaves will still lose their green and turn at least a muted color and fall to the ground. Those leaves no longer hold the chlorophyll that keeps them green and feeds the tree. So they turn to a glorious, or not so glorious, hue of red, yellow, or orange as if to say, “This is me!”  Shouting out one last hurrah before they are let go to flutter to the earth below. 

There are so many lessons to be learned about God in nature. The one that comes to mind as I think about this fall weather and the changing of the seasons is one of the faithfulness in the promises of God. After the great flood, God tells Noah that He will never again destroy all living things on the earth through such a catastrophic deluge. In Genesis 8:22 we have this promise, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”  And so there is constancy in the seasons. We can depend on them. Even more so, there is that with God. He is THE constant. The ever-present God who can be trusted. His promises are true. He can be trusted even while we cannot trust ourselves. 

A.W. Tozer says that, “Unbelief is a deadly sin. Among all created beings, not one dare trust in itself. God alone trusts in Himself, all other beings must trust in Him. Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust not in the living God but in dying man.” 

Even as the tree’s leaves fall to the earth in the Fall, the trees themselves know that in Spring new leaves will emerge on their branches bringing with them new life and sustenance for the tree.  So it is no longer dependent on the dying leaves. Why? Because our Creator God made it so. And so we can put our trust not in our own fickle selves, but in the God who created us. The one who knows us best and yet still, He loves us so. As we let the sin of self-dependence fall to the ground we become more dependent on Him. He then brings new life to our limbs and renews our hearts so that we can now find our joy in Him. We can trust the one who is TRUTH. 

I think that sometimes we approach this discussion about unbelief as if it has everything to do with us. Do I trust you, LORD? The reality is that He is trustworthy, no matter how I feel. He is faithful when I am not. His promises are true…always. His faithfulness, His trustworthiness in no way depends on my belief or lack thereof. He is LORD and I am not.

When things go askew in our lives we often wonder, “Where are you God?” “Why is this happening?” But nowhere in scripture do we have the promise that everything we encounter in this fallen world is going to fall to our favor when we are walking with God.  He does not promise that we will not encounter trials. In John 16:33, He promises just the opposite when He says, “ this world you will have trouble…” but He tells us this so that we can be assured that in Him we can experience peace in the midst of our trials. The fact is that He is there…with us in the pit of despair, waiting for us to take His hand so that He can either sit with us a bit longer or lift us out of the pit. His love and compassion never fail. Our faith may falter because we can’t see through the darkness and we may begin to panic because we think we are alone. But when we pray we begin to see through eyes of faith. The pupils of our spiritual vision will begin to adjust to the darkness and let in the light of His love. And we come to realize that He is our ever present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). 

So let this season of falling leaves be a reminder for us to let go…

Of our fear and insecurity,

Of our hurt,

Of our anger,

Of our doubt, 

And let’s fall into the everlasting arms of the One who loves us most. The One who can be trusted to be faithful, because His very name is faithful and true. 

 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.” Revelation 19:11a

Blessings and happy Fall, 

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