The dusty, smell of autumn filled the air like a warm bear hug. The wonder of autumn enticed me making me take a much-needed walk. After sitting for hours in conference sessions, it was time for an immersion in the fall perfect.
I didn’t have much time and so I quickened my pace. I strolled past all the cabins, past the people, and past all distractions. I saw a path on the right side of the road. I smiled and pretending I was ten again took it with a sense of adventure. I walked under a covered bridge and trailed up the path full of leaves. The path was full of leaves that the trees shed. They had to drop all their beautiful layers. The trees still had their autumn allurement, but they were becoming bare as they dropped precious gems onto the path where I was walking. How like my own life, before I can grow, I must first shed each thing I hold dear. The shedding is necessary, so God can radically use me as a vessel only focused on Him, because He is all I have. I continued my journey enjoying the air of mystery and the aroma of adventure.
I found some steps which I eagerly ran up. It was a miracle I didn’t fall backwards from those slippery leaves. And then I saw it, the chapel at the top of the hill. My heart was warmed. This was what I’d long been yearning for. You can talk to God anywhere at any time. He’s always there. But I think there is something extra special about being alone with God in a church. Reverently I opened the door to the empty church. The emptiness didn’t bother me. God filled every square inch, in a way that I hadn’t noticed before. With an attitude of awe, I slipped into a pew. I simply sat there, taking in the beauty of His presence. I sensed God nudge me to go to the altar. So, I left my fifty- pound purse on the pew, and with only a paper, a pen, and my broken heart I obeyed. The last two weeks, God had tested me and tried me through a fire I didn’t want to walk through. God was making me into gold, but I was struggling to surrender. Like the autumn trees from before, God had been stripping me of all that I clung to. I was like a tree, no leaves were left, only my branches reaching upwards in surrender. But out of the ashes God can redeem if only we let Him. So, I penned a letter to God, expressing my heart.
I wanted to linger, but I had to be somewhere soon, and I’d already walked a long way. I almost picked up my letter from God to keep. But I sensed that God wanted me to leave my note on the altar. It was like I had surrender my pain, and my desire to control. Leaving my baggage at the altar was like saying, okay Lord You take it. I surrender my control, my dreams, and my past. So, I eased myself up, grabbed my hefty purse, and silently strode out of the quiet cathedral. I turned back once, but I trusted that I could leave it all in His Almighty Hands.
I had to run back to my hotel, down the slippery steps, and past the bridge. But I didn’t mind. The run was worth it. I had made my peace with God and that was what I needed.
If you are broken, weary, or worn, run to Jesus.
If you are happy, excited and joyous, run to Jesus.
If you are afraid, anxious, and sick run to Jesus.
Take your desires and leave them at the foot of the cross. It is not until we have laid down our dreams that God can truly repair the old ruins into a vessel for His glory.
I know it’s spring time now. The trees have buds, the air is warmer, fresher, and more exciting. What does something from last fall have to do with spring time? In autumn the golden yellows, brash reds, and playful oranges must flourish and then fall one by one. Winter is a season where things appear dead. The trees continue to stand, but there are no leaves to clothe the barren, barked body. But though the winter is long, it is not a dormant time. This year winter seemed to drag, on and on and on. But God continued to work in nature during the winter as He worked in the winter of my heart. But spring always comes. Spring is a time for new life. It’s a time when new dreams are reborn. So, don’t despise the long winter. Spring is most beautiful when the winter has been long and harsh. When God asked you to lay aside your dreams, it seemed painful, and maybe even pointless. And then came the winter. You shivered and shook. All you had was God to lean on. He was the one to comfort you and sustain you through the long dark night of the long winter. But then Spring peeked her head up. Out of your sorrows flowers were born. And now you can stand tall, as a blossoming tree, a testament to how God uses the broken. I know because He is still using me. ❤