“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

-- Ecclesiastes 3:1

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” -- Luke 12:22-26

As I put away my gardening tools and wipe my arm across my slick forehead, I look up in wonder at clouds racing across the sky. At that moment, the wind kicks up, leaves scurry, and the stagnant heat dissipates. The freshening wind blows across my overheated skin, hyper-cooling rivulets of sweat and sending an unexpected shiver down my back. Although hot and tired, I am instantly overcome with the urge to spread my arms and run like a kid with the northerly airstream that is sending whirlwinds spiraling across the yard. My shorts and sleeveless shirt expose bare arms and legs that were just glossy with sweat, but are now suddenly sprouting goosebumps. I let out a whoop of enjoyment at this long-awaited reprieve from the inferno of late summer, breathing deep and smiling wide at the thought that fall is finally here.

Autumn is like no other season. Its chill winds turn into winter’s frost that gradually warms to spring, then heats-up to the intensity of summer. But nothing speaks of a new season like the first brisk, northerly wind that heralds the arrival of autumn on a hot day. Who doesn’t get a little thrill from that first bracing gust? No matter how much you love spring or summer, there is an undeniable excitement in the feeling of the cold as it blusters through the trees. And who doesn’t like to kick their way through beautiful piles of autumn leaves? We pull out our sweaters and boots, make sure we have logs for a fire, and bring out the soup pot for some good old homemade soup or chili. It’s a time for gathering around the fire pit, warming our bellies, rooting on our favorite football team, and getting our “nests” ready for winter.

Life also has its seasons, each with its own challenges, joys and sorrows. People come and go; pathways cross, align and diverge as the river of life moves us ever onward. People get married and have babies. Children grow up and their friends replace you in their lives. It isn't that you aren't important or they no longer love you. It is just God's way of helping them move on naturally so that when He finally takes you home, their lives will still be full, making the pain of separation bearable. You make new friends and lose track of others. You run across old friends and realize you have missed them, surprised that you ever lost touch because you were so close, for a time. One truth remains: change will come. Everything has its season: relationships, careers, finances and even the loss of loved ones. It is all temporary when viewed in light of Eternity. God is the only constant. The problems of this life seem to dim somehow with Eternity in view, and God really can heal all things.

Prayer: Father we thank you and praise you for the reassurance of your constant love and care in our lives. Walk with us, hand-in-hand, through each day, fill our minds with your thoughts, our mouths with your words, and our hearts with your desires. Let the light of your Holy Spirit shine your love through us into the lives of those we meet so that they will be drawn to You through the witness they see in us. We love you, honor you and glorify you in Jesus’ name, amen.

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