holding on through the dry season

dry-season

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23, NLT

I absolutely love fall. There is something about its specific sights and sounds that awaken a certain kind of pleasure. It started back in high school, when Friday nights were devoted to football and pizza. The excitement. The crunch of leaves. That lingering smell of burning wood. The crisp cool air. All the signs that a new season was here. Change was in the air.

As I took a day of solitude recently, I wandered down to the lake that is a short walk from my house. As I sat in complete silence taking in the sights and sounds of fall all around me. I once again felt the cool, crisp air. The hum of excitement. That wondrous crunch of leaves underneath my feet. And, I thought about not just this season of nature, but of my current season.

This season that hasn’t drummed up the same excitement that those football games did in high school.

The season that has brought a lingering, unexplained illness that has left me breathless, my body weary and depleted. In a season of self-pity.

A new season where some passion has faded. Everything seems too hard. There is just no strength left to even fight for what once made my heart so ready to move.

It has been filled with doubt. Some due to the barks and critiques of others I tend to hold onto for too long. Those barks and critiques that have left me defeated. Not willing to stand up and push past them anymore.

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul? With sorrow in my heart everyday? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Psalm 13:2

On this day. This day I declared a “me” day. To rest my depleted body. Disconnect from everyone and everything that was too hard. I took the time to finally look at the beauty that was around me.

All that comes to mind when I get excited about fall.

And I saw it. The beauty. In the trees that blazed shades of green, red, yellow, and orange.

See, they are in a season, too. Having spent many months thriving, growing, providing shade and comfort on hot, muggy days, they are now in another season. They are also in a season of struggle.

Yet, as they cling to their last little bit of strength they have left. As they hold onto that branch so tightly before they finally wither and fall…they are at their most beautiful.

It is in their struggle to hold on that they are at their peak. When they shine the brightest.

And then there also comes the time when they do stop the struggle. Wither and fall. When that beauty. That peak seems to fade.

The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. Psalm 145:14

He doesn’t leave them there. Fallen. No. Not at all. Instead, at the right time, He puts new life in those withered leaves. Gives them a new season. New beauty. New strength to hold on again.

And, he will do the same for me. Through this struggle there is beauty in holding on. There is strength in clinging to that solid branch just to keep from withering. Even though I may fall for a season, He will be there to pick me up. To breathe new life in this weary body, and make me shine for Him again.

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