Give thanks for changing seasons

“This is like driving in a beautiful painting!” Pauline exclaimed while we were on one of our annual October color tours. Well said!

The brilliant blending of autumn’s artistic hues is enough to make the blues leave. No wonder millions break away from the rush of routine living, driving thousands of miles to see this annual show of splendor. Design dominates the landscape. And design declares the existence of the Designer.

Colorful rolling hills and breathtaking views of quiet valleys entertained by flocking birds prove the ingenuity of the Master Planner. Mirror images of maples, oaks and birch beside still waters, dotted by leaf boats of red, yellow and brown, create a seasonal wonderland that cries for recognition of the Creator.

And even after sundown, the wonder remains. Harvest moons inspire poets and lovers, reminding us that the One who created all this loves us all.

Still, some are so troubled by adverse circumstances in their lives that they allow present problems to color their thinking about God. Surrounded by countless evidences of His power, they mistakenly conclude they are beyond help and doubt that He cares. Having become problem conscious instead of power conscious, they are unable to see any way out of their difficulties.

Recent natural disasters add to our need of a peaceful haven. Threatening clouds call for a refuge from raging storms. High numbered hurricanes and killer earthquakes under seas and on land increase the tensions of our time. Terrorists take their deadly toll on innocent people longing to be free and threats of plagues that defy miracle drugs, possibly killing millions, seem to be ever on the minds of those who feed our fears. But creation’s wonders should soothe our minds, lifting us from every valley of despair.

King David, who went through many dark valleys in his eventful and often troubled life, found his faith increased by observing evidences of God’s work everywhere. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork,” he wrote (Psalm 19:1).

Commenting on David’s soothing statement of faith, the nineteenth century English minister, Charles Spurgeon, wrote: “In his earliest days the Psalmist, while keeping his father’s flock, had devoted himself to the study of God’s two great books — nature and Scripture. The book of nature has three leaves: heaven, earth and sea. Any part of creation has more instruction in it than human mind will ever exhaust. Every moment God’s existence, power, wisdom and goodness are being sounded abroad. Even the changes of night and day equally reveal the Invisible One.”

Our Lord often used illustrations from nature to build the faith and quiet the hearts of His hearers. He spoke of birds that do no farming but are fed by their heavenly Father and of lilies that neither toil nor spin yet are clothed more elegantly than kings. Why then should we allow worry to take away the joy of living?

True, the earth is in travail, causing upheavals of nature (Romans 8:22), but even these promise the birth of a new day. Meanwhile, wherever we live, we can give thanks for the beauty of changing seasons, announcing better things are on their way.

Roger Campbell is an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. He can be reached at rcministry@ameritech.net.

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