More than anything else, this image reminds us that things change. Time marches on. The grains of sand in an hour glass fall painfully slow at times. Then, when you least expect it, you observe there’s very little sand in the upper globe indicating a “season” of time is almost at an end. When Fall begins, the same thing is true. What was green turns to a rainbow array of colors in the trees. The leaves fall over time, sometimes slowly, other times in a day. Things change.
Depending on whether you are a “glass-half-full” or “glass-half-empty” sort of person significantly affects your view of this tree, and its many colors. On a recent trip to Arkansas I had high hopes of catching a view of the fall foliage from Mount Magazine, north of Hot Springs. I’m sure it would have been a lovely drive, and the view would have been spectacular, were it not for the dense fog encompassing the mountain. When we arrived at the peak, we could see less than 40 feet in any direction we looked. Since we were only there for a day, we hoped it would burn off quickly. The reality is it didn’t, so we left, with a tiny bit of sadness and sense of loss.
I took the photo image above, looking North from my backdoor, on Sunday morning. It reminded me of the singular truth found in the first 11 verses of Ecclesiastes 3. “There is an appointed time for everything” (vs.1)… and … “He has made everything appropriate in its time” (vs.11). In between these two statements are couplets of contrasting thoughts describing almost every aspect of human life on earth. The dichotomy of living a human existence here on earth is captured in the joy and sorrow juxtaposed in the words, “a time to…”
Give birth vs. die, plant vs. uproot, kill vs. heal, tear down vs. build up.
Weep vs. laugh, mourn vs. dance, thrown stones vs. gather stones.
Embrace vs. shun embracing, search vs. give up as lost, keep vs. throw away.
Tear apart vs. sew together, be silent vs. speak, love vs. hate, war vs. peace.
I really like Eugene Petersen’s “The Message” translation of the Bible for passages like Ecclesiastes. It is just easier to relate to I guess. In each of these verses Petersen’s translation begins, “A right time …” These words help us see that God designed all of these events into the human existence and we really don’t have any control over them. Today, see if you can hear God speak to you through Solomon, in verses 14-15 of The Message.
I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.
Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That’s how it always is with God.
Trusting in Jesus as LORD, in its essence, is knowing these words Solomon wrote are true absolutely. Proclaiming Jesus as LORD is declaring He is in Control of all things, all the events of my life. Serving Jesus as LORD requires an understanding and commitment that He is the sole Authority in my life today. Knowing in fact, that I am alive and serve at His pleasure, whatever may come my way. The third, and maybe the most awesome truth of declaring Jesus as LORD, is knowing and believing, the Living LORD Jesus is present right now with me. When one of the “a time to…”-events happens in my life, I am not alone to face them. Jesus is with me continually.
It’s fall, and the LORD is demonstrating His Creative power in all the colors. As the blustery North wind blows creating a sea of leaves ripping through the air, do you see Him? Do you know Him? Is He LORD of your life today?