Monday, September 19, 2011

Beauty For Ashes

Fall. I love this season. It makes me feel more alive, somehow. Is there more oxygen in the air when it is cool, rather than hot and humid? I'm not sure, but when the temperature drops, and the sky takes on a more brilliant shade of blue, and I get the urge to knit, I know it must be fall. This is when I really miss having little kids around, to make cookies for that they can have after school. I am making them anyway; two kinds today. Molasses spice, and oatmeal with butterscotch chips. My neighbours and friends will have to pick up the slack; there's no way my hubbie and I need that many cookies around.

Still, it's hard to leave summer behind. Such a wonderful season, especially this year. Those hot, sunshine filled days and beautiful evenings are delightful, even though I could do without the really hot ones, and the muggy nights. We are blessed to have four distinct seasons in this country. I think if we were to always have fall, or spring, or summer, we wouldn't appreciate them, and start taking the weather for granted. As it is, each season brings its own positive aspects, as well as some negative ones. (That's why winter seems to take forever to leave!) So as each new one moves in, we rejoice anew at those aspects that we enjoy most. And again, as each in turn leaves, we look forward to the next with anticipation.

Recently, I visited with a dear friend who is going through a difficult time. Her marriage of many years is ending (through no choice of her own). I know that she is mourning this loss, and wishes that things could be different. But she has an amazing attitude. Though she is sad, and grieves the loss, she has accepted it. She has let go of that season of her life. "I'm just thankful for the years that I had," she said to me. And now, she looks forward to this next "season", trusting that God will lead her, and provide all that she needs. In her pain, she has drawn near to her Lord, and as a result, she is being strengthened in her innermost being, and finding a new level of intimacy and trust. Such faith, such dependence on God! At one point during our conversation, she was consoling me, reassuring me that she was, indeed, alright.

I admire her steadfastness, and her positive outlook. More than that, I rejoice and give thanks for the gift of faith that allows her to have these, in the midst of heartache, in the midst of uncertainty. It is truly a supernatural power that upholds us in the face of trials. God promises that He will never leave us, and that He will work all things together for good. His grace is sufficient, and His strength shines through in our weakest moments. All to His glory......

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)

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