As we drive along the highway into town, I always admire the thick foliage. The buds in the spring are so lovely and encouraging. In the summer, the leaves seem to burst from the trees. In autumn, the colours are so rich and intense. But then, the temperatures begin to drop and slowly, one by one, the leaves flutter from the trees, blanketing the ground in warmth and tucking it in for the winter.
Passing by all of the bare trees made me think of the seasons in my life. There are times when God has new lessons for me and I begin to bloom in the realization of His goodness. Then there are times when I am walking so closely with Him that He simply radiates from the innermost places of my heart. There are also times when I begin to drop and times when I am stripped bare and in need of His refreshing and breath of life.
The trees don’t stop living when winter comes. The sap in their veins just isn’t able to flow freely. The coldness limits their growth. But! every spring there is new life. God, in His faithfulness has set the seasons and provides everything when it is needed.
Sometimes, you may feel like a palm tree or a coconut tree, all warm and fresh. Sometimes you may feel like a bit of scrub brush, never quite healthy and just taking up space. In reality though, most of us are like the beautiful maple trees, blooming and growing in season and also needing times of refreshing.
When I had my first apartment, a friend gave me a small plant. She told me about dead-heading the blooms that were past so that the plant would be able to nourish the blooms that were to come.
If you are feeling today, as though you are being ‘dead-headed’ or stripped bare, rejoice, because it means that God is preparing you for something wonderful that is yet to come.
…rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.