Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6 (NLT)
Autumn is in full swing here in Iowa. That statement means a lot; days are shorter, days are cooler, the flavors and smells of pumpkin, cinnamon and apple make desserts yummy and homes cozy. It also means winter’s right around the corner. Before the stark landscape of winter sets in, God treats us to one last hurrah. Here in the Midwest—tree leaves change color. Some of the trees in my neighborhood have lost their leaves all ready; some are just starting to change color. The tree in front of our house will eventually be bright yellow. The neighbor’s tree to the east of us will glow red in the morning sun.
A Never-Changing God, Who Changes Us
Fall is a season of change. Our great, big God, who never changes, is a God who changes the lives of people. That fact is the most import thing to remember as change sweeps through life. Your life may be green one day, flaming red the next and then, the harsh winds of circumstance strip you bare. The circumstances of the season bring change to the landscape. As those of you treated to this display in nature look at the glorious beauty the changing leaves offer, let this change remind you about your Heavenly Father as well.
The colors we see in the fall were actually there all year-long. During the long summer days and short summer nights, the leaves are busy making the sugar the plants need to live. The green pigment, chlorophyll, helps combine the carbon dioxide from the air with water to make sugar—that is photosynthesis. While the plants are busy doing photosynthesis, the leaves have lots of green pigment. As the days shorten and cool, that process slows down; the plant starts to rely on the stores of sugar. As the chlorophyll dissipates, something amazing happens. The leaves start to turn red, orange and yellow. Those pigments were there all summer long, there was just so much green, the other pigments were “out-pigmented” by the green.
Ever felt alone? Ever felt like God was far, far away busy taking care of someone or something else? Ever felt like, maybe, just maybe, God loves someone else just a bit more than He loves you? Sure, we all have. Let the change of seasons offer you a sweet reminder—the circumstances of the season change, and that change reveals the truth—those vibrant colors were always present. When I see the trees turn in the fall it always reminds me God is here all the time, even when I don’t see Him. God is present when my problems or my small, little mind obscures His presence.
The verses above quotes two different passages from the Old Testament reminding us we are not alone. What a wonderful reminder. What a loving God! He must have known! In our limited understanding, it’s easy to forget that God is always with us.
He is Always With Us
Our emotions betray us. Feeling alone is not the same as being alone. God knew humanity would need the reminder that He is always with us. Change often drags our priorities out-of-order. The reminder not to trust in your income was no fluke. It’s easy to think things are fine when there’s cash in your pocket and panic when your balance is dwindling. God knew you’d need a reminder—when you’re pooped, when you’re about to give up being good because it just seems too hard or you’re too outnumbered, when the bad seems to be pounding the life out of the good, He reminds you not to fear. He’s near –to be your helper.
Fall is the death-throes before the dormant months of winter. It’s no mistake this glorious display comes right before the bleak dark days of winter. It’s no mistake the Bible records the lives of frail, sinful, just-like-you-and-me people. The Bible records the stories of people who God changed—some softly and gently—some with a blinding light and a whirlwind of fury.
This month we’ll look at some of the people in the Bible. They didn’t wear halos. They didn’t speak the Queen’s English. They connived, lied, failed, despaired, trusted, hoped when there was no hope, lived, suffered defeat and victory—they are our examples. They are the examples of God’s justice, mercy, love, and grace.
God never changes—no one who comes to God stays the same.