As I drove home to Winding Ridge from the Accident Library yesterday, the sun glinted off the last of the leaves remaining here in western Maryland. Snow squalls had visited already this October, but thankfully, nothing of the magnitude of last year’s disastrous Super Storm Sandy. Still, much of the spectacular color has faded and grown dim. Once home, I read that November holds the double-edged sword of Happy Thanksgiving — and the month of highest onset depression. Life’s leaves descend with both joy and sorrow. How can we balance the two?
C.S. Lewis’ Shadowlands reminds me that this life allows me to stand in shadows with glimpses of sunlight guiding me. providing a hope that defies circumstances.
Romans 8:22 declares, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
Bright sunlight pierces dirt road shadows as I drive over a hill and focus on the red oak leaves being blown skyward. No wonder the psalmist’s instructions call me to look up to the hills (Ps 121).
The words of that psalm throw my memory into reverse, back almost 40 years when I recited them while in labor with our first born. “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and of earth… The Lord watches over you…The Lord will keep you from all harm — The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Giving birth allowed me to know joy and pain together like few other things in life!
After I made the turn onto Bearfoot Road, the sun’s rays flashed upon my windshield, flooding my thoughts with glorious light. How like the Lord to display Himself, and spark a thank offering from deep within His children!
Hope and encouragement flow from the One who inspired Romans 8: 18- 21:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
The leaves cascade down in a death spiral to the human eye, but to God’s children, the vision invites a glorious freedom. As the beauty of autumn passes into shadows, I invite you to investigate the One who can bring joyful hope and eternal beauty.