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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sabbath Rest: Charles Swindoll Reflects on Autumn

Of all the seasons, autumn is my favorite. There's a feel about it, a distinct and undeniable aura that surrounds it...Those leaves are a part of it. What color, what artistry! Crisp frosty mornings also help. What a refreshing change from oppressively hot afternoons and weltering nights! Along comes Thanksgiving, a nostalgic reminder that God has indeed 'shed His grace on thee.' The firewood is cut. The pumpkins are getting bigger. Our hearts are overflowing.

Let's think of autumn as a season of reflection. Time to gain new perspective. To stroll along the back roads of our minds. To think about what. And where. And why. Such visits through the museum of memory never fail to assist us in evaluating the way we were and establishing the way we want to be. This implies change, another reason autumn seems to represent a season of reflection. It's during this season the foliage changes. And the weather changes. And the time changes. Birds make their annual journey southward. Squirrels finish storing their nuts...With incredible consistency, all creatures in the natural world act out their individual pageants without external instruction or some script to follow.

Quietly, without flare or fanfare, God moves upon our lives, taking us from summer to autumn, a season when He mysteriously writes His agenda on the tablets of our hearts. Patiently He waits for change to begin. Without exception, it does. And we reflect on that as well.

Close your eyes for a moment and consider what God has been doing deep within your heart. Allow me to remind you of something you may have forgotten. It's a quotation from the New Testament:

...God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His work within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

(Philippians 1:6, TLB)

If autumn, the season of reflection, has come, expect your roots to deepen. Count on it. Yet be assured of this, the Lord God specializes in roots. He plans to deepen you and strengthen you. But He won't overdo it. He is sovereignly and compassionately at work. We are more impressed with the fruit. Not God--He's watching over the roots. We like the product. He emphasizes the process. Remember, "He who began...will keep right on...until His work...is finished."

So we can boldly declare, "Come wind, come weather. Welcome autumn!"

--from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life.

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