"Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever. He knows all, does all: He changes the seasons and guides history..."Daniel 2:19
Cool air rushes in with thoughts of early autumn. We dig deep into closets and drawers for sweatshirts and socks with smiles of relief from hot, humid August--anticipating all good things of fall.
Calendars now read Autumn but, sweat like hot, humid August meets our skin instead. It doesn't feel like fall, yet hope of autumn's sweetness abounds: ripened apples, rounded pumpkins, flowing wine presses, leaves spotted red and gold. Truth held by earth's bounty indeed testifies to this new season, yet we linger in season past, almost disappointed.
Promise speaks forth from heaven's Hope to our souls. God sings songs over us forgiven sons and daughters. He delights in promised vine-fruit from our life-branches grafted in Hope. We linger in summer--fruit grows, turns toward the Son, ripens--we mature. Truth held by soul's bounty proclaims a new season but, it doesn't feel like harvest. Our fruit- bearing vines seem insignificant. But, the calendar reads autumn.
Like New England Inidian Summers that toy with our senses--God's spoken promises may not seem to be in season. The calendar says it's harvest time but, we don't see any fruit. We start to doubt God's call on our lives to harvest anything and step out into the heat--disillusioned and disappointed.
But God promises in Isaiah 55:11 (NIV) "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
Linger in hope of the present season--God's word spoken into you as active and now. That's faith. Walk in obedience to the words God sings over you in hope and promise with faith that He will bring the harvest. That's joy.
Do you feel disappointed in the change of season? Do you feel like you're lingering in Indian Summer when it should be fall? Are there God-promises that you feel will never be harvested in season?
May we live in the season of "now" and walk forward in obedience to your words spoken over us, tonight. Grow our faith as we place our hope in you that though it doesn't feel like a new season, we continue to sow seed knowing you will bring the harvest--not by our works--but by your grace.
* Topic adapted from sermon "Spiritual DNA" by Bob Hazlett, Wellspring Church 9/24/11