Shadows & Seasons
Walking for miles without a soul in sight, I turn off the music to acknowledge the beautiful colors that I see with my eyes, while acknowledging the shadows I feel being exposed in the darkest parts of me...
The heart of a traveler is a daily reminder that no matter the season; This is is not our home.
Seasons come, and seasons go... ... And as I write this, it is fall in southeast Michigan.
For me? Fall seems to always bring with it a tendency for solemn reflection over the year which is winding down... winding down just like the lives of the fallen leaves that fall brings; however, every year also reminds me of the beauty that dying things can make. Fall reminds us that summer has faded and the cold that brushes upon our faces is a reminder that the cruel season of winter is fast approaching.
Stopping to take a picture, I turn off the music in my ears in order to acknowledge the beautiful colors that I see all around me;
However, with every step, I can't ignore that there is a tension and restlessness within me that demands attention.
Swallowing the spit that has gathered in my mouth, I acknowledge that the tension that I feel springs up from the parts of me that I try so hard to hide
hide far, far away
far away from acknowledgement
I hide the tension that I feel in a darkness of refusal refusing to bring my "shadows" to the Light. And with every step, with no one else around, I am face to face with that which is heavy on my heart and mind... (John 8:12, Psalm 139: 23-24)
... with every step? I can't help but realize, that the only reason why I feel tension? is because the same Light that I hide from what is heavy on my heart and mind , is the same Light that is renewing me day by day by day even here even now. With each step, I'm reminded how I am ashamed of my "shadows". With every step, I'm reminded how desperately I need Jesus.
"We know that the Spirit who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to Himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." - 2 Corinthians 4:14-16
My "shadows"? I struggle with the changing of the seasons of life.
I struggle with the past. I wrestle with where I am in the present. And I am anxious of what the future seasons will bring...
... and with every step? I feel like I am flipping pages from the yearbook of my life so far:
Rivers remind me of the many days sitting and watching the water roll by and falling asleep by the calming waters ... Rolling hills which pass me by remind me of my South Carolina upbringing ... Lush woods that are around me remind me of childhood adventuring with my brothers and the imagination & wonder which the woods bring to me... Dirt roads bring back memories of a warm head laying my shoulder and the eyes that reflect the summer sun...
... and like the fallen leaves of the autumn forests, I know that the season of life that I currently am in will too, in time, pass;
however, no matter what the seasons brings... I am reminded that we have a Creator, Savior, and Sustainer that makes no mistakes. I am reminded that we have a Creator, Savior, and Sustainer that is I AM when I am not. (Exodus 3:14)
"I AM the Alpha and the Omega--the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I AM the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come--the Almighty One." - Revelation 1:8
With every step I take... I am reminded that NO MATTER the toil of that changing seasons of fall and winter brings, NOTHING takes away the upcoming season - of spring and summer - and their commitment to restore what the former season leaves behind; "...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
WILL carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
We all have shadows... ... the hurts, ... fears, ... regrets, ... insecurities, ... memories, and brokenness that each season of life brings and leaves with us.
Likewise, the "shadows" of our toils which we feel now DOES NOT effect the Grace and commitment that our Creator, Savior, and Sustainer has to FINISH the good work that He has begun in us!
REGARDLESS of your current circumstances, REGARDLESS of your current struggles, REGARDLESS of the present hurt, We have a Creator, Savior, and Sustainer that PROMISES to renew us and is faithful to do so.
"Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest. Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." - Matthew 11: 28- 30
With every step, I am reminded that this world is not our home and the changing seasons remind me that there truly is a color in the chaos.
So what are your shadows? May we not be ashamed to cast our burdens on the one who cares for us. May we not be scared to bring our shadows, our worries, our performances, our anxious thoughts, our doubt, our fear, our confusions to the shadow that the finished cross of Jesus casts over our lives. (John 19:30)
Every fallen leaf that we see around us declares an absence of life in their current circumstance;
just as every falling leaf reminds us of the beauty that dying things can make, may we see the beauty in the shadows fading as we grow and bring our broken hearts, our shadows, to the Light: Jesus.
There is NO fall, there is NO winter, that is exempt from eventually succumbing to spring. And ironically, the most destructive seasons of them all, - fall and winter - lays the foundation for the most developmental seasons... And in months? Every fallen leaf that our eyes see that the season of fall and winter brings will stand in stark contrast to the green leaves that sway with in the spring sun.
May we not be afraid to pray in every season: "As seasons change, change me."
Lyrics: Here [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubrHVggnfM?rel=0&w=560&h=315]