Although hidden at first, I searched around in the trees and landscape and there it was, fiery colors sprouting on the branches as if to say, “here I am”. I was compelled to go closer to find out the meaning.
It is a mystery to me how I am so intensly drawn to the beauty of Autumn as it becomes unveiled. I read that Moses took off his sandals as he approached the ‘burning bush’. A messenger had appeared to him as a ‘flame of fire’ in the bush. The story is written, “He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.” And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” Exodus 3:3
A Sign and a Wonder
The signs of the fall season alerted me as it prepared to unveil it’s glory. My friend reminded me that all the wondrous colors have always been there in the leaves, although we could not see it. It is revealed once a year and not at a time of our choosing. Curiously, my friends in the Maryland and West Virginia hills have been hoping for the ‘changing of the guard’ to occur for over a month. Some had given up hope of seeing the spectacle this year. Something in my spirit said that it was still to come, although later than usual, but how would I know this? I am a stranger to these hills in Maryland. Autumn was now a full month later than usual. Like an excited kid I took out my camera to chase after the colors wherever I could find them.
When I left Calgary a month earlier I was ushered away the day before a foot of snow arrived. It came unannounced on October 2nd with barely a breath of autumn to escort it. The previous week I was marveling at the warm ‘summer like’ days as I was visiting family and friends. I clearly remembered surviving very cold winters in true Canadian fashion through moments of hibernation with thick blankets and by drinking copious cups of coffee to revive the bear. Now that I am a true son of Hawaii, I hesitated to think of it.
There was also something stirring in my spirit as I was about to leave Alberta for my eastern destination of Maryland where my friend Don had invited me. I too was about to enter a new season.
For all things there is a season, and every will under the heaven has its time determined. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit does the one that works have in that in which he labors? I have seen the travail which God has given to the sons of men that they may be occupied in it. He has made every thing beautiful in his time: even the world he has given over to their will, in such a way that no man can attain to this work that God makes from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Just before I left, as I gathered with my family members for a dinner together, I presented my mom with a lovely silk lei that was gifted to me from a friend at church in Hawaii. It was a beautiful lei of bright orange with dashes of rustic colors and reminded me of the circle of life that fall on all of us just as the seasons do. My mom was in the autumn years of her life, and the lei was reflection of the beauty and grace that was upon her. In the past two weeks we had many lunches and dinners together in her new assisted care home, and there was more laughter that my mom and I had together than I can ever recall. Another sign and a wonder. What a precious gift. Many prayers had been fullfilled for my mom which culminated in the short two weeks I was visiting, a harvest basket of many prayers answered. Thank you Father!
After dinner we gathered together in a circle with my mom in her small kitchen. As I paused to speak my heart, I stopped to consider the seasons. There was more than I knew than could be expressed in words. I sighed and choked back the tears as I shared. I knew that the times of our lives belonged to our heavenly Father, and He is lovingly watching over the seasons of our lives. Nothing escapes his attention in all of creation which we are not the least of. His care and concern over us prevails over all else in the heavens and the earth. It is too much to consider. His mercies endure forever.
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
Great Is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Though changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
I was given this word for my dear friend and brother Jesse Rotholz who has been in Queens Hospital in Oahu since Sept 15th.
You are my son in whom I am well pleased.
Neither height nor depth, or armies, angels or rulers, or anything created will able to separate you from the love of God in Yahshua, your master.
I would give you the kingdom, says Yahshua, except that everything that I have is already yours.
You are seated with me in the heavenly places, already, you have the fullness of the kingdom within you, already, because you are mine and I am yours.
I am not jealous for you because you have already surrendered everything to me,
I am yours and you are mine.
Consider the flowers of the the fields and the valleys, are they not mine? And all the majestic trees that clothe the hills and the mountains. Are they not mine? Is it not written that the earth is mine and the fullness thereof?
You are more valuable to me than anything else that I have created, more precious to me than all the fields and flowers. As great as their glory is, it does not even compare to the glory that I have hidden in you. For my love for you is an everlasting love, even the fields and the flowers of the valley will perish, but my love for you will never die, it will never fail you.