I find myself captivated by the changing seasons, waiting to see what God will do with this creation He designed. Often, I am overwhelmed by the majesty of the view that spans my horizon. Yet, it is limited in scope. I am just one woman, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by corn, trees, grass and kids and yet, I imagine that heaven must reflect the palette of October somewhere.
Radiant light rays bounce off the trees as the summer’s sunshine shortens and fades each passing day. I can measure the change each time I drive down my road and see that the leaves are competing in a contest of glory. They are showing their true colors now. No more green soaking the insolent energy making the food, the trees are preparing for the long slumber that accompanies winter.
The fall is like that, grandeur and glory. I think that though the sun has chosen to shine less, the leaves are throwing back the sunlight to give us one more glimpse of its beauty, its power, its radiance.
And each vision we have before us, each image, is a glimpse of what is to come.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it. ~Isaiah 40:4-5~
Do you realize that there are patterns which we see in the natural that give us a glimpse of His character, His heart, and His plan? I see them in nature. I see them as I go out of doors and I look beyond my surroundings into the beauty… beholding glory. As I look more, I can see that even the weeds have beauty in them. I don’t see this till I take time to LOOK.
Taking a quick walk around our home, fills my senses with all that he has been working quietly throughout summer’s days.
- The garden is still soaking in the sun’s rays, following the pattern etched within.
- The mint under my feet, bruised by the crushing and tearing my walking produces, lifts a scent of sweetness to my nose.
- The morning glories billow in abundance hiding the compost bin from sight. I smile as I realize, I didn’t plant them there, yet their fullness create a mirage which hides the rotting material behind it. This dying decaying matter that will slumber through the winter and spring, and perhaps another summer, cooking and morphing into beautiful fruitful soil to plant my garden seeds within.
- I look over the horizon and see the corn ready to be thrashed and beaten, forced to release the grains hidden in the husks. The kernels represent God’s multiplicity in nature; one seed produces many.
It amazes me the bounty that is right before me, easy to miss… easy to forget… easy to lose sight of.
My forgetfulness reminds me of the valleys we travel. The lonely places and the cold dark tunnels we allow ourselves to stay in when we lose memories. These darkened pathways sometimes feel barren and empty. When I get stuck in the valley I want to put my head down and weep. I want to look only at the feet that are moving, or perhaps have stopped still in their procession. I want to stay there and think about what I am losing rather than what is out there to be taken in. But God has a plan for our valley trespassing.
I will open rivers in the high places, and fountains in the midst of valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. ~ Isaiah 41:18~
As we walk through the valley he will give us plenty rather than emptiness and beauty, even in its waning season, exploding to glorify its Creator. He shows us the rich soil that has been churned and baked to produce just the right mixture of humus – full of all a dried and dead casing could need to start living again; and freshly watered cisterns filling pools of bounty for our enjoyment.
Theses seasons of our living echo the pattern of creation… life, growth, harvest, rest.
Our lives are full of seasons that echo these patterns of nature. Some of them are bursting with life, pregnant with promise. Some are fiery hot, sticky and difficult to breathe, boiling those impurities to the surface, bubbling upwards. Some are full of harvest moments, the gathering in of all those hard days, the labor-filled moments yielding fruit, plenty with purpose. And others are cold, lifeless, sometimes bleak in their appearance, yet insulated by the hope of better days to come.
We surf the calendar of time, each year surprised that it brings the same thing. Yet, in every season there is purpose. Every passing day marks one more step towards eternity, towards our ultimate tomorrow.
The best and brightest of each season remind us to savor moments and hold memories; loosely if nothing else. Each moment ripe for planting seeds of hope for soon-to-be. There is always a soon-to-be on the horizon.
To Everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1~
This is what is visible in these October painted skies. Promise for more of the sun the cracking leaves have been holding on to. Radiant hope which will bring us through the winter’s harsh empty cold into the life that spring sings forth.
Look for the light shining in your valley moments; it is guiding you to your mountaintop experience.
This valley you may be walking is also filled with promise. However, you have to stop and look. Change your viewpoint and look up, look around, and look for the radiance of the Son bursting in leaves that have captured your memories, your hopes, your desires. Look for His hope, His vision, His passion and see how He blends the two till as you absorb His light, you begin to radiate this light encoded by hope which reflects a masterpiece only life with God can create.
For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] on the face Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:6
Some days the valley seems a little overwhelming for this pilgrim wanderer to fully take in, and then God arrives with the light for the path. Our tomorrow becomes our reality when we yield to the beckoning, the pulling of our hearts to the One who has seen our end from our beginning and still calls us forth.
Choosing to change the focus point of my horizon reveals a new awareness of the life in the valley. There is fertile soil, protected by the covering the mountains provided. There are silent streams of pure liquid that flow gently. There is beauty bursting in the sunlight that filters through. And then I am counting graces again, listing blessings, marking moments with joy… even in the valley.
As we change our view of the horizon, we become light bearers for someone else.
Today if you feel that your valley has been way too long and the view has not changed, can I challenge you to change the location of your horizon? Look up pilgrim and look around. Even the valley is full of life, full of hope, full of promise.
We are apt to think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching, it is to be turned into something better than teaching… into character. The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. The moments on the top of the mountain are meant for something in God’s purpose. ~ Oswald Chambers
Our faith, in His fullness, allow us to witness God’s miracles and lead the way for others to follow. Think about this… perhaps you are in the valley so you can lead others out. ~ Selah!
Recap from this week: Finding Hope: A Review and A Give away-If you missed my post from Wednesday, I am giving away one copy of Jen and Craig Ferguson’s new book: Pure Eyes Clean Heart. You can find out how to enter the drawing here. I will be announcing the winner next week.
More to come: The details to A Table of Grace are coming. I hope to be able to share them with you next week. You can read my first post on this topic here.
Another Book Review: It is always fun getting books in the mail. This week I am finishing Jennifer Lee’s book, Love Idol, I have loved what I have read so far and have learned much about the idols in my own life. I will be sharing more about that in my ‘coming’ review section.
And I finally got my hands on Emily Wierenga’s book, Atlas Girl. Emily is hosting a book club from November 6th- December 8th. I will post the review next week, but don’t wait for me to tell you all about them, get the books and we can talk about what we love the best.
*These are not affiliate links and I do not get anything for sharing their sites or book links. I love their words and believe they will change lives.*
Linking up with friends below:
Thought Provoking Thursdays, Thriving Thursday, Fellowship Fridays, Missional Women, Essential Things Devotion, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop, Saturday Soiree, Still Saturday, The Weekend Brew, Recommendation Saturday, Give Me Grace, Counting My Blessings, Equipping Godly Women
Thank you for linking up with Susannah and I!!!
I’m going to come back and read over your post again because these are words that I just need to dwell on a bit more!
There is a series of sermons on the book of Ruth (I think it was just four sermons) that John Piper did back in the 80’s that I think you would really enjoy! They are on trusting God in suffering and hoping in Him.
Such beauty and hope fill your words here, Dawn. My husband and I just returned from a bike ride together and as we rode I had a similar feeling of awe over his creation. This says it so well, “Look up pilgrim and look around. Even the valley is full of life, full of hope, full of promise.” Looking up with you, friend. Much lvoe. xoxo
You’re right. It IS so easy to get stuck in a particular mindset. So often all it takes is for us to change our perspective and everything changes! Thanks for sharing on Equipping Godly Women Fellowship Fridays!
It is always a good idea to look up! I love a bright blue sky 🙂
This is a great reminder to STOP. To stop in the midst of the chaos of our lives and take a look around at God’s creation. I also like how you say that in the valley we need to look up, rather than down at the barren ground or our own feet.
<3 Fall really is so full of beauty! It's truly amazing that God's masterpiece is on display for us all to see!
Beautiful, my friend! Sometimes the valleys are overwhelming and we may forget they don’t last forever. Praise the Lord that God’s power will break through the deepest valley and will overcome it all. Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party!
Thank you sweet Sarah Ann! You’re a blessing to me, in so many ways.