As we were driving down the tree-lined street my youngest daughter pointed out the graduated coloring of the maples. It is no accident that in the autumn season we witness the spectacle of wonder where creation gives glory for the faithfulness of God. I am convinced there is a lesson in every moment…a chance to seek God in wonder at all times.
“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.”- GK Chesterton
The transition of the color release that happens with trees always astounds me. Like a shock to my senses, even though I know it is coming, the trees remind me of His faithfulness with the passing of each season. The changes each one makes are immensely beautiful to me, crowned with the grandeur of the Artist’s palette through the seasons. Moving from bare branches with the gentle bud of winter’s slumber, into spring leaves that finally breathe as they crinkle out of their cocoons. Gentle breezes tease the waving green canopy of summer. But it is Autumn that glows beyond extraordinary in the hue of gratitude before the release, waiting for God to paint them alive again so they can radiate his glory. It is like a contract He signs that life is the cycle of grow and release and of live and let go. It is a keeping kind of covenant that always results in a fulfillment of what is promised.
We talked about the beauty that God allowed us to see that day, about His faithfulness and the way that if we forget to look for it we miss it in all the simple and mundane moments that we pass by.
I was struck by her ability to stick with me in those thoughts. She is an artist, it shouldn’t surprise me…she has a discerning eye that can catch the nuances I miss so easily. Often I’m too busy worrying about what needs to be done next instead of slowing down to look like she does. I am learning to take the slower course. I am learning the art of gratitude in the journey. It’s a process of looking through faith eyes to see grace moments everywhere. I think it is a strengthening we all need, this exercise in seeking that faithfulness requires.
But in this moment we saw the extravagance simplicity affords. What is right here, in front of us, evidence of consistent care in perpetual motion is the testimony our fragile hearts fully need. In the beauty of the tree shining its fullness, we are reminded of His faithfulness every single moment. We see the handiwork of God a little brighter in these months where the leaves are showing off and the golden horizon seems to cascade a glow of wonder before us.
Because no matter what, every year the trees in our front yard and on that same street bear leaves that follow the same pattern of bud, bloom, and let go. We can count on the seasons to show us His faithfulness to remind us not to starve for want of wonder.
I don’t know about you, friend. But sometimes I forget how faithful our God really is. I forget and I get lost in worry, tripped up with discontent, handicapped with grumbling, and blinded by misunderstanding.
He is always faithful to meet me, even in my messy faith, and remind me of truth.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calls you, who will also do it.[fulfill his call by hallowing you and keeping you.]- 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
This last week our 17-year-old son was involved in a car accident. The pick-up truck he was driving was pulling a trailer full of patio blocks from a local supply store. Apparently, the warehouse didn’t load it correctly and it caused the trailer to swerve on the gravel road, which in turn caused the pick up to lose control; his Dodge found itself turned over in a ditch, near a stream, on top of a mail box.
I knew the moment I heard his voice something happened, but somehow I was hoping I was wrong. My husband often expectsd the possibility that things can go wrong. He processes through these things it a little more easier than I, pragmatic and practical in his personality. In his own way of being faithful, like a good father does, He prepared our boy to be calm and to make good choices when chaos comes in uninvited. I, on the other hand, have taught him to pray, and to ask for prayer, to trust that His Heavenly Father is just as faithful as his earthly one. It is a balance that works well and at times the student has more faith than the teacher.
Gratefully, he was unharmed, save for a good scare and some sore muscles. I, perhaps, was a little more shaken than the everyone else. I held it together, of course, until I saw him and could hug him and count fingers and toes like I did when he new to me and I was lost in wonder at the miracle of his arrival.
I was counting this a miracle, too, in awe and wonder at the faithful way God answered prayer. Because I remembered what I prayed for him that morning as he left and found my heart praising God in wonder at the revelation.
He had not been feeling well, he wasn’t sure he could make it through a day of work. He had a Cross Country Meet the next day, and felt that if he could get through a work day it was a good sign he was well enough to compete.
Can I tell you I want to rewind the hands of time and bring my kids back into that fold of youth where if they were right in front of me it meant they were safe and protected? But I can’t, and to pine for what is not is a type of faithlessness, or lack of faith that God is in the midst of every moment.
In every moment we can count graces and see His handiwork, we can find wonder revealed in His faithful covenant care.
The reality is these kids grow up. We prepare them to fly but we forget that God is fully in control. The more we realize that this God we love, the Father who loves us so much He sent His Son to bring us back to Him, also loves our own more than we do we learn to trust the promise of His keeping. He asks us to join Him in the journey of parenting and living and loving because in this covenant He makes with us, there is an image of his faithful heart towards us.
I sometimes forget that everything I have is really His.
That morning as I sat at the table, in the dark of the morning with the sun’s rising cresting the horizon and his tail lights sweeping out of the driveway, I petitioned the King of Heaven to place His angels over my son. I asked Him to put a hedge of protection around him and help him make it through each part of his day in safety and health. It is a familiar prayer request, but not always a daily one. This day I felt even more strongly that our son needed God’s angels close.
Petitioning God on this covenant faithfulness He extends is participating in the feast of wonder He has already laid out before us. Prayer keeps us consistently aware of His care.
It was this realization that was my final undoing and the current of tears and thanksgiving flowed in plenty. My faith was increased by the reminder that His providence never ceases and His faithful care is always active. I am still pondering the idea of his faithfulness being a generational covenant and the way our prayers are transcendent beyond our days. But the more I am reading His Word I see that it is also a characteristic that we can tangibly see.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations. – Deuteronomy 7:9
His biggest concern was whether he could run the next day; and he did. We actually ran together, he beat me, of course. It was a perfect fall day to run…cool not too cold, a little bit of rain but not enough to soak. He didn’t run his best, but he ran . I didn’t run my best, either, but I ran. My daughter ran and beat her time again, running one of her better races this season. God’s faithfulness, even here… is another story. But it was visible. The manifestation of His grace led me to wonder and ultimately to praise God.
Even though we were shaken a bit, our leaves were blowing in the breeze of the trial, God in His faithfulness established a covenant of grace that brought us right into the midst of His will.
When we are reminded to pray, to stand in faith even when it doesn’t look like we are being heard. If we pray according to His will, if we submit to His leading and obey… standing shoulder to shoulder with God. Be encouraged friend to step into that meeting place of faith. Because His faithfulness is a covenant of grace over our lives, revealed in beautiful colors of glory. It opens up a door of mercy that we are able to pass through, a door widened by His consistency and faith-full direction, so that we are left filled by the abundance of wonder and the provision of His care.
How are you recording his acts of faithfulness as you look for #gracemoments this week, friends?
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Dawn, that Chesterton quote brings back a whole flood of his words about how God likely designs each individual flower by hand because of His childlike wonder, and we, His creation, have grown old and lost the wonder. Let’s not do that! Thanks for wonderful words today!
Dawn- so glad to hear your son is ok!
How often I forget that everything is His, especially my kids. I need to trust Him and let Him do what He needs to do. I get in the way often:)