Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)
TITLE: In Tune with Nature
By Christine Cain
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All is cold and bleak and barren. Winter is unfriendly, unforgiving and unrelenting. It is dark and quiet and lifeless. The silence may be broken by wind that howls and swirls and sweeps away all within its path, while trees sway to its tune. A fresh fall of heavy snow can light up and reflect a purity like sins forgiven. Rain can fall in torrents and swell the rivers to overflow their banks and carry away what seemed to be so strong and stable and immovable. A weakened sunrise can add a salmon glow to an otherwise unpromising and shrouded day. Some 17th century words from a hymn written by Catharina von Schegel, included in the Lutheran hymnal and in Sibelius’ ‘Finlandia’ and inspired from Psalm 46 can comfort in troubled times: ‘Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side, bear patiently the cross of grief or pain, leave to thy God to order and provide, in every change he faithful will remain.’ Sometimes as the soul hibernates in a painful winter, the Lord is purposefully pruning those he loves in order to bring forth a greater abundance of fruit in season.
What joy, what life, almost a buzzing in the air as the gloom is dispelled and the resurrection glory of Spring bursts through. Once again the promise of death being broken is there for all to see. Wonderful colour and freshness and sweetness, new songs from birds who know that God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. It’s hard to imagine this changing scenery as the dark days are left behind and brightness and hope and purpose emerge and there is new birth within and without. What a privilege to experience the words Jesus spoke to Nicodemus Jn 3 v 7 NIV ‘you must be born again’. What liberation, praise the Lord oh my soul. Never has the grass been greener or the sky so blue, the cherry blossom so amazing, the words of scripture so personal and real. This is new life indeed.
This is the fullness of all that is beautiful, balmy, easy and free. Summer is here and Creation is decked in full attire and showing her radiant colours with pride. Such progression has taken place that the pit of winter is a forgotten shadow. Now the fruit is showing, now the loving is easy, the serving a delight, the time alone with Jesus so comfortable. The valley is a long way below, but this is the mountaintop and if only it could last forever where I almost see the Lord face to face. Yet the flowers and blossom and sunshine and warmth are but for a short time and they must wane. So enjoy the time of new wine and blessing, of seeing the kingdom come in the hearts of new believers, in seeing the prodigals return, in seeing the fallen raised up again. This is the abundance of our summertime.
Now is a reflection of all that has gone before, Autumn comes upon us, the colours change yet again into brown and gold and red and yellow, such glory to behold. Maybe tinged with sadness for a moment gone, a season past, a task for God completed. A sense of closing and slipping away from what was so wonderful and relaxed and enjoyable, recognising we are moving on to a new and uncharted future. The lyrics of the very old hymn are a reminder that God is in the detail: ‘Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not, As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.’ So the golden years are precious with a richness and maturity, with a steadfast and unshakeable faith. No matter what lies ahead Lord, lead me on and I look to the place you are preparing for me, and I am sure of your promise Matt 28 v 20 NIV‘I am with you always.’
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