In a season of uncertainty and change, there’s always one thing we can fix our hopes on.
Posted in , Sep 28, 2020
Do you feel it? The shorter days, the clearer light, a crispness in the breeze. I love autumn, but what it always says to me is “change.” Change is in the air.
As my friend Elizabeth Sherrill often says, “The one prayer God can’t answer is, ‘Don’t let anything change.’” The fall speaks to that in every falling leaf. A message I seek to embrace.
Here are five Bible prayers for a changing season:
1) Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest. (Jeremiah 5:24)
It’s harvest time. I love going to the farmers’ market and picking up the bounty of autumn, corn, squash, apples—but isn’t there a rich bounty inside that we can all look for? Doesn’t God’s love grow its own crops? Every day I look for more ways to love.
2) Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Love is action, and persistence is one of the fruits of the Spirit. I’ll put off forever doing loving things like writing a thank-you note or sending that sympathy card, but when I do it, I feel the goodness that comes from expressing compassion. Reaping the harvest.
3) Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24)
I once celebrated Easter in a South African monastery. It was a beautiful setting, situated in the rolling hills…but the season felt all wrong. There in the Southern Hemisphere, Easter comes in autumn. Where was that springtime lushness that I associated with the Resurrection?
Then I saw it (the Creation speaking). In the falling leaves, in the seedpods dropping, there was the germ of the new life that would come. Dying to self can lead to rebirth.
4) Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children of your Father in heaven…. (Matthew 5:44-45)
Jesus’s words can be hard to put to practice. But they come to mind during this election season with the passionate language—tinged with anger and mistrust—of political enemies sparring. It’s so easy to get caught up in it.
That’s why I turn to Jesus’s message. We don’t have to agree with the people that have opposing viewpoints, but we do need to love them and pray for them.
5) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:8)
I’m reminded of the lyrics of an old hymn: “Change and decay in all around I see. Oh, thou who changest not, abide with me.”
The seasons are turning about us, the struggles we face in dealing with a pandemic continue, parents are dealing the uncertainty of a school year like no other. “How will I get through?” we can all wonder.
In a changing world the one thing that never changes is God’s love. Hold on to that.