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Topic: Seasons (12/08/03)
By David Ritchie
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Virtually the first thing God established between Noah and his family after they came out of the ark was the seasons of the year, along with the promise of an abundant supply of food. We find it in Genesis 8 v 22 "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Even before God set his rainbow in the clouds to confirm his covenant, he gave the promise of seasons to all that was left of the human race.
I count myself so privileged as in the course of my work I drive through the Scottish countryside. I see the rainbow in the sky and for some unknown reason rainbows have become quite significant to me. They remind me of Godís covenant with his creation and his promise of the seasons for the generations that followed the flood.
I have known times of great concern when Godís reassurance that he was in control came through a full-blown rainbow. There was also a time when in great trial the two sides of the rainbow disappeared into the clouds. At the time it felt that God was saying, not this time, but itís ok.
Recently I left home on a beautiful sunny day, although it was in the fall, it was like a summers day. Only ten miles on, a heavy frost had from the previous night still lingered. Mormond Hill was bathed in brilliant white, as if a beautiful white blanket had been thrown over it. At the outskirts of Old Meldrum a further twenty miles on, the road skirted a small woods where every shade of green and gold reflected the rays of the bright sun. The sides of the road was strewn with leafs being blown against the old stone dyke (wall) by the vehicles that passed by. Truly this was fall as glorious autumn colours could be seen all around.
Summer and fall both in one day but on the approaches to Inverurie only forty miles from home, the outline of Benachie stood majestically against the blue clear sky. However this was another season for Benachie was covered in snow, its high peaks glistening in the sunlight.
Three seasons in one day in the space of forty miles, only one season missing Ė spring. Could we ever have them all in one day? Artificially it seems we can do most things now, however it is difficult to imagine spring and fall on the same day. For as beautiful as the colours presented by the leaves in the fall the ultimately speak of death. The end of a season, when the ground has nourished the crops and is in the process of going to sleep, ready to repeat the process in the spring. A time when the trees shed their leaves, taking on a bleak stark look in readiness for the approaching winter.
Spring on the other hand is a time of new life, resurrection and hope. Lambs skip through the fields racing and jumping from anything they can climb on to. The beautiful fresh green grass emerges from the soil. Plants that appeared dead in the fall now emerge with new life. A time of expectation as the snow drops and daffodils display their beautiful colours having forced their way through winterís hardened ground.
Seasons? I am so glad I can see them through the eyes of one who has an awareness of God with his plans and purposes for the seasons in my life. It came as quite a shock as a mature student at forty-six years old to grasp that I had passed mid life. Life is at this moment as good as it gets, yet if I look at life in the light of seasons, at fifty-seven it must be fall. However although my horticultural skills are sadly lacking, I realise that deciduous trees shed their leaves annually, on the other hand there are trees that are evergreen.
I am totally convinced that the God who made the seasons is in control of the universe. Everyone who trusts him is like an evergreen tree, even in the winters of life, with its many problems, they keep their foliage and colour. Unfortunately a deciduous tree cannot become an evergreen, however God has made provision for all people in the garden of life, where they can change and even ďBear fruit in old age.Ē (Psalm 92 v 14)
In this season of goodwill, I pray that men and women of all colours and creeds may find that even now in the dead of winter it can be springtime in their soul.