The Old Things

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Yesterday was Christmas.

After family had visited and presents had been opened, I took some time to just walk around outside and take in a few moments of quiet and beauty.

I walked in the yard.

Making my way down the street a bit, I looked over the land near a farm.

The sky was filled with powdery hues of creamy peach as the sun was beginning to set in the late afternoon.

Where I live, it’s warm most of the year, sometimes even on Christmas.

So was the case yesterday.

The air conditioner had been on to help us feel comfortable.

Outside, the leaves on the trees had not completely fallen.

In many ways, it seemed like a warm, autumn day as the crimson red leaves still clung to the branches above me, even as some had dropped to the grass and sidewalk.

In just a matter of days, “Happy New Year!” will be the greeting on everyone’s lips.

2016 will have become the old and 2017 will be ushered in as the new.

Just like the red leaf on the concrete, the old ways have to part from our lives as we become followers of Jesus.

We become new, and God brings newness of life every day.

A new heart.

A new beginning.

A new existence in relationship with Him.

 

 

old-things

Seasons

 

 

 

He changes times and seasons;
    He deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    He knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.

 

–Daniel 2:21-22

 

 

As I walked along the wooden deck, I stopped to look at some fallen leaves.

It’s that time of year again when the trees begin to let go of their leaves and prepare for winter.

In doing so, we are blessed with seeing a vast array of autumn colors for several weeks, heralding a time of dormancy and rest for almost every plant and tree.

Spring will come after a period of waiting, bringing with it a new and vibrant growth.

Seasons in our lives are not always defined by aging.

God brings us in and out of various types of seasons.

Seasons of growth.

Seasons of learning.

Seasons when wisdom is given.

There are seasons when we have to let go of some responsibilities in order to take on new ones.

These seasons are defined by God.

With each passing interval, we can say, “This is different–but it’s okay.”

Whether we are at a season in life’s journey where we are a vibrant green leaf attached to a branch or a vibrant red leaf lying on a deck, we are in a particular place at a particular time where we can be used by God.

What season of faith are you in today?

 

seasons

While the Earth Remains

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While walking in the park, I noticed a branch that had fallen to the ground.

Crimson red outlined some of the leaves.

Once again, God is continuing to bring about seasons.

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While the earth remains,

seedtime and harvest,

cold and heat,

summer and winter,

day and night,

shall not cease.

—Genesis 8:22

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Their Leaves Shall Never Wither

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Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God.  But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.

 They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.

—-Psalm 1:1-3

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never wither

But I Will Hope

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Walking along the lake, I saw some plants growing in the water.

The leaves were positioned on the top of the water, not submerged.

Their beautiful hues of lavender and green adorned the murky lake.

Though surrounded by water, the leaves were above it.

We often find ourselves in less than perfect situations.

Circumstances can be hard.

During those times, we can continue to reach out for God’s strength, even when ours is fading.

When we are surrounded by problems, we can still stay above them with His help.

Although things might look really murky, the colors of God’s love are evidence within us of His faithfulness in our lives.

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But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.

–Psalm 71:14

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Summer and Winter

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The leaf had fallen to the deck below with its underside up.

Like a satellite image of an intricate roadway system, the veins that had once brought life-giving food and water to the leaf still formed patterns of strength along its blade.

Tiny water droplets glistened like tiny streetlights along the way.

The leaf would eventually die, making way for the new growth of another season.

A cycle of life put into motion by God.

You determined all the boundaries of the earth.
    You created summer and winter.

—Psalm 74:17

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summer

Summer and Winter

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It’s that in-between time of year.

The time of year when the thermometer has the most fun moving twenty degrees up and down every day.

I guess, for thermometers, it’s roller coaster season.

Will it be hot?

Cold?

Windy?

You never know.

The leaves on some of the trees have turned golden and brown, scattered on the sidewalk like coins in a treasure chest.

That seems like autumn to me.

The rose bush that towers above the sidewalk isn’t up for the change as yet, though.

Right now, two crimson roses are blooming, just like it was the middle of summer.

The bright red color highlights the walkway up to the front door.

Winter will just have to wait, at least for a little while longer.

I wonder why God made the seasons?

Was it to mimic our lives as we grow older, only with an invitation for new birth in Christ?

It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

—-Psalm 74:17

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summer

I Am Holding You

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I suppose it was falling.

On it’s way from where it had been from the time it had first budded on a branch to the ground below.

If leaves had a mind capable of thinking, it might have said, “Well, here I go. It’s over now.”

When I noticed it, that was not the case.

Something had intervened.

The leaf was caught by a single line of spider web and suspended in the air.

As the sun shone brightly through its amber fibers, its beauty was displayed in an exceptional way.

Delicate and glowing, it looked like a wooden form from an old cobbler’s shop.

There was still time to be spent above the ground.

Sometimes, things can be really hard for all of us.

We may even think that certain situations are final.

The job is over.

The relationship is over.

The opportunities are over.

We may feel like we don’t have any more chances.

God is a God of second chances, however.

He can reach out when it seems like we are falling and catch us.

And when He does, who is there that could remove us from His grasp?

I am holding you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God—and I say to you, Don’t be afraid; I am here to help you.

–Isaiah 41:13

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holding final