A walk in the woods is a balm for my soul. Silence, broken only by a bird call or a rustling limb, seeps into my being. Stillness surrounds me and I begin to feel the stresses of life slowly dissipate. As my mind begins to relax I’m free to notice my surroundings. There are hints of fall as the early maple leaves have begun to turn into beautiful shades of orange and red. The locust leaves have already curled in upon themselves while some evergreens are still sprouting new growth. Soon the leafy branches will be weighed down by snow and then laid bare again as warm breezes return. Spring will come and tiny buds will burst forth into thick foliage once more. Year after year the seasons arrive in Virginia. I can count on them. Their predictable sameness is a steadying force in my year.
The sameness in the seasons is an expression of God’s sameness. His character never changes. I can count on Him. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. “ (Heb 13:8) He is a rock. With Him I am secure. His sameness is not affected by my ever-changing emotions. He is not capricious. What a relief. In a world of insecurity He makes me secure. I do not go to bed at night wondering if morning will come. It always does. I can count on it.
Not only do His seasons reflect the consistency of God’s character, they also reflect His diversity. Stopping in the midst of my woodsy trail I am quiet for a few minutes. When I peer into the trees I notice the variations of light that play amongst the leaves. One second a large leaf is in full sun, the next moment it’s shaded as a cloud passes over. The sun’s rays play a rapid game of hide and seek on one patch of the trail as trees blow in the wind casting changing shadows. Glued to my spot on the trail I realize that the light in this place is never exactly the same. This fluidity of creation is overwhelming to ponder.
Too often I limit how I believe God can or might work. I forget how creative He is, how limitless His ways are in working out His plans. I find myself telling Him how to work in my own life, my friend’s life, and my child’s life. I despair when I can’t see Him at work and I wonder if He is or if He will. If I’m really honest I just want to be God. Oh my. A wise friend once said, “It is good to allow God the privilege of working in someone else’s life differently than He has yours. “ A favorite quote of mother’s was, “He’s always working while we are waiting.”
God is both same and diverse. His character never changes. His ways of working are unlimited and always changing. In a culture of changing values it is helpful to remember this: God’s message-the truths expressed in scripture- do not change, however His methods are always changing.
Whatever season of life we are in, we can take comfort in the sameness of God’s character and the diversity of his ways of working. His sameness breathes a sense of security into our souls while His diversity opens our hearts to great expectations.
Take a walk in the woods and notice…