October is filled with wonder. It’s when the world begins to retreat into it’s hibernation and every leaf becomes a flower. The air smells differently even before the temperature begins to change, and on cool evenings you can smell the sweet oak wood smoke from neighbors’ chimneys. One of the things that makes me happiest is the feel and the sound of acorns and leaves crackling under my boots. October is our favorite time to go camping. Laying in the tent at the first light of dawn and hearing the whisper of leaves dropping on the tent and then sliding down the side. At sunrise, we’ll crawl from the warm cocoon of our tent and wake the embers snuggled in last night’s ashes. Soon, a fire is crackling and our coffee is sputtering in the granite-ware percolator, the promise of bone-deep warmth.
Autumn is the beautiful process of the world surrendering to the hardship of winter. Nature doesn’t fight against the imminence of ice and snow. It humbly prepares itself for the change, trusting that spring will come again. The leaves change from life-filled greens to the deep gold and auburn just before the tree gives it’s glory over to the the earth. And just before its sleep, the trees provide a generous abundance of food that the animals can store up for the months ahead. The fields yield a bounty of good things: their last great act of beauty before laying down their seeds and trusting the Creator to waken their offspring in spring. There is nothing easy about winter, but its work is important to the life-cycles of everything it touches.
Autumn is the beautiful process of the world surrendering to the hardship of winter.
Winter comes for us all, and we endure it. It seems bleak and grey, and some days the cold wind pierces through to our hearts and we despair. We survive the hard times by trusting God to sustain us, knowing that on the cruelest days of our winter, He will always bring the spring. We store up his promises and his blessings from the abundance of our summers, so when the autumn comes, calling us to lay down our comforts and our idols and to trust His goodness to us, our hearts seems to become gilded and blazing with His love.
“For we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 & 16-18
A couple weeks ago, our pastor preached on this passage. He interviewed Daniel and I about our winter of infertility and loss and how God is still using that time in our life. I encourage you to watch the sermon here.