“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him. ” ~Daniel 2:20-22
Autumn has always been my favourite season. The moderate temperature, the new colours, Thanksgiving dinner, and there is a certain feel of peace and beauty in the air. Also, it has become a special time for my family, as October now boasts my wife’s birthday, our anniversary, and most recently, the birthday of our beautiful daughter Karyss. It’s a time of celebration and joy in our household.
The scriptures tell us that the seasons are assigned by God as regular markers of our years and experiences. All seasonal changes have their own inherent beauty, as the author of Ecclesiastes tells us, “He has made everything beautifulin its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Eccl. 3:11). But of all the seasonal transitions, autumn is probably the most dramatic- in the visual sense- but it’s a beauty which comes from death, and end. Yet we celebrate. The end of the growing season means the harvest is ready. The end of the leaves ability to grow means the beginning of the fall colours. The end of my bachelorhood meant the beginning of my wonderful new life. The end of my days of regular sleep means the beginning of a beautiful blessed life of parenthood. Endings and beginnings typically come together, blessings and challenges are always both on the horizons.
This autumn has been a special one for us. Many things ended, but God has breathed life into us. God is always creating, making beauty, and raising up life from the ashes. Often the difference between worshippers of God and those who are ambivalent, is that worshippers see God- the unchanging eternal artist, whereas others see leaves to rake and the inevitability of snow and cold. A good parent sees the beauty of and blessing of the experience of the creation of life- whereas some would simply see sleepless nights, dirty diapers and the cost of bringing up children. Challenges should not dissuade us away from our pursuit of beauty. Appreciate the beauty always.
Friends, be encouraged this season. God is always pouring out new life. God is by nature and creator, always moving to bring newness and regeneration. The snow is coming. But it too shall pass. As Bruce Cockburn sang, “gotta kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight”. Celebrate the light and find in the darkness the hope of the light to come. As the prophet recorded, “he changes times and seasons… he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”
*The Visionary is the Newsletter of Centre Street Baptist Church