To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV).
The seasons are changing again, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. In some parts of the country, the change is drastic; in others, gradual. Where we live, in the Southern California desert, we’re thrilled that we’ve dropped 25 degrees from the triple digits that plagued us just last month.
A few days ago I was strolling with friends through the botanical gardens in St. Louis, and in the background I heard the loveliest harp music imaginable. I focused so I could make out the song, and it was “Autumn Leaves.” Autumn. The time when the song writer proclaims that he misses his beloved most of all.
I can relate, not so much because I’ve recently lost my mom or because my dad died in the fall twelve years ago, but because I truly miss my Beloved most of all this time of year. Though I walk closely to my Savior throughout all the seasons, there is something about falling leaves that tugs at my heart and makes me homesick for heaven. I suppose part of it is that I am yet another year older and that much closer to my eventual home-going. The thing that struck me most, however, as I enjoyed the splendid scenery at those botanical gardens, is that it wasn’t that long ago that fall reminded me that I was no longer young; I was middle-aged. Now that’s no longer true (unless I expect to live to be at least 125!). No, now fall reminds me that my own autumn season, my middle-aged years, are at an end and I will be soon living in winter—truly the final years of my life here on earth. And that, fellow pilgrims, is a joyous thought!
Seriously, if we actually believe what we say we believe, then each passing year, every falling leaf of autumn, brings us that much closer to being reunited, face-to-face, with our Beloved, in a place where we will never again have to deal with the nostalgic or even frightening reminders of changing seasons. We will instead dwell in everlasting Light, basking in the warmth of the Son, in an eternal season of pure joy. Until then, fellow travelers, rejoice with me as autumn leaves fall at your feet. Resurrection Spring is right around the corner!