In the past few days, I have gone to a retreat without the required bedding, towels and soap, I have face-planted in front of an audience that was gathered around a campfire, I have discovered a double-booked Saturday just a few days before I was supposed to be speaking in two places, I have had a wicked stomach virus, and I’ve traveled several hundred miles alone and spent multiple hours in doctors offices and waiting rooms. I’ve canceled a couple of trips so that I could make different trips that were more urgent on that particular day. In short, my course–the regularity of planned events–has been altered many times.
Have you ever thought about the fact that God never says “Uh-oh!”? He never changes his plans because things aren’t working the way He wants them to. We serve a God Who always follows through. This time of year, when you find yourself crunching acorns beneath your shoes, driving through colorful foliage or running back into the house to get that coat you haven’t worn since last March, remember He is a God upon Whom you can count. He is faithful. He delivers. Nature obeys Him—the winds and the waves, the faithful ocean tides, the stars in their courses, gestational life, seedtime and harvest. The hosts of heavenly angels are situated even now at His command. All of life obeys God.
But you and I have a choice. Sometimes I wish I did not. After all, if I did not have the choice, I would be like the birds flying south or the squirrel gathering acorns. I would always be doing His Holy Will. But it’s only in the choice that He can find in me devotion, appreciation and submission. He has given me the freedom to love Him in return…or not. And, when I choose to love Him, my indestructible connection between heaven and earth takes its shape. I am the only one who can burn the bridge that spans the gulf between the Faithful God and the vulnerable woman I am.
I’m in verse 39 of Romans 8. Dark nights and storms and mean people and serpents and terrorists and surprise situations are there, too. But I am the inseparable. They are just the unable.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38, 39).
Seasons of the Heart
When the crimson leaves have fallen
And cool winds breathe a sigh,
I stop beneath a barren oak
And wistfully think, “Why?”
Why must flowers lose their blooms?
Where goes the butterfly?
Why does autumn bear this chill?
Where do the birds go and why?
The squirrels don’t forget to find acorns.
The fields never fail to turn gold.
The mice find my barn for the winter,
And I’ve turned another year old.
Every appointment of nature
Is met with the greatest detail.
How can all heaven and earth do His will
And I, in His own image, fail?
If I could, like stars in their courses,
Or that gold harvest moon in the night,
Follow the course He has charted
And change when He thought it was right;
If I had no fear of tomorrow;
If I trusted in God’s wisdom more,
Like the squirrel I’d be ready for winter;
Like the bird flying south, I could soar.
The heavens and earth shout His glory.
The sky is the work of His hand
I, too, have a place in my God’s world.
I, too, must attend His command.
Seedtime and harvest, death before life;
In His good time may I take my place
As the whole world gives way and all nature obeys,
In the seasons, may I see His face.