"As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” -Genesis 8:22, NLT
Fall in California is not the same as it is in New England. I've seen the fall colors of the east coast and there's nothing like it.
But today, I as I took a lap around my neighborhood on my lunchtime walk, I stumbled upon these trees. As I looked up at them and the beauty of their color, I was reminded that there are only a few days left of the fall season. Winter will be stepping in to take it's place.
As I took photos of these trees, I was reminded of a story of a woman looking out her window at some beautiful trees that wouldn't let go of their leaves. In places where the winters are harsh with snow and ice, like they get in New England, if a tree doesn't let go of it's leaves, when the winter weather comes, the weight of the snow and ice can break the branches and eventually kill the tree.
I felt like the Holy Spirit reminding me that it's time to let go of some of the things I'm trying to hold onto. The kind of things that are actually going to hinder what God wants to do in my life over the winter months, the dormant time. It's the time when He's working on the inside, but the time I feel most vulnerable and lost. But if I don't let go, then I will break and won't be prepared for what He has for me in the season to come.
Trusting what my Heavenly Father is doing on the inside is faith building. It's about me letting go of my expectations and allowing Him to replace it with His dreams for me. He created me and only He knows the plans he has for me (Jeremiah 29:11). It's hard to do, but knowing that winter is but a season and that spring follows it, is encouraging that whatever I let go of, He's putting something new in it's place. Just like the new green leaves that sprout on a leafless tree. It's a reminder that new life is happening.
As we head into winter and close out 2023, I encourage you to take some time to look at what you need to release. I believed 2023 was the year for the captives to be set free. Jesus is the Truth and he came to set us free (John 8:31-32). Let Him help you. Romans 8:28 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed with the renewing of your mind..." The mind is the root of your heart. Spend some time in His word over these winter months so when spring comes, you are ready to bloom with the new thing He has been preparing in you. Invite Him to be at work in you. It's always for good. If God created trees to have such beauty just before they have to let those leaves go, imagine the beauty of the new season. Especially in the lives of His children. I'm excited to see what God has in store for 2024!