Autumn Rains

It rained yesterday.  The rain was sorely needed and the ground swallowed it eagerly.  Arkansas had a hot dry summer.  Many of our leaves seemed to just give up rather than change colors to flame away to fall.

What is it about autumn rain that makes me so sad?

Leaves smell dusty after an autumn rain;

releasing their grip on the trees

at the bite of the wind.

Spring rains are cleansing and sweet,

just possible to see the growing plants drink.

Its breeze tickles the leaves from their clusters.

Is it the inevitable cycle of time into cold winter?

I am not too far removed from the land to appreciate the bounty of harvest.  It cannot come without the heat of summer and then the waning of days.  Reaping is the result of planting and careful tending.  The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem tell us that there is a time for everything (Eccl. 3:1-8).  A wise child observes the ant that prepares in the summer and gathers in the harvest while the sluggard sleeps (Proverbs 6:6-9).  Surviving the winter is more pleasant after a good autumn harvest.

Do we have spiritual seasons also?

I do believe that we have these spiritual seasons – not as a chronological transition from one identifiable season to another – but springs of new growth, summers of good pleasure, autumns of storing up, and winters of cold hibernation.  We live through spiritual times of planting and times for pulling out; times to weep and times to laugh; times to search and a time to give up searching; time for feeding and times to draw on Strength.   I cannot remain only in a preferred season.  Jesus’ parable of the sower warned that riches and pleasures can choke out fruitfulness (Luke 8:14), and I am sure that on my own, I would prefer riches and pleasure.   Perhaps we need the autumn rains to remind us that winters do come.

As we pass through a season, we are wise to prepare for the next.  Autumn rains fall and are useful to nourish in hidden places, stored up to be drawn on later.  They soften the ground to be worked and penetrated by seeds.  God, owner of the storehouses of snow and hail, the sender of the wind, the father of the rain (Job 38), said, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it ear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

If fall is the third of four seasons, is it that I am conscious of its relationship to my actual age?

I am blessed, in this season of my life, with time and opportunities.  Opportunities to read and study, reflect and share, work and plant seeds.  I will trust the Father of spring and autumn rains to accomplish what He desires with the Living Water and seed of His Word.   “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

Am I still sad?


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