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Fall . . . A Great Time to FALL into the Arms of Jesus

Fall finally seems to be arriving in Texas! I think we should get down into the 30's this weekend. For most I think, fall is a time to restart, begin anew, try a new schedule, sample new recipes, make new friends, renew past acquaintances, set new goals... Maybe it has to do with our childhood conditioning of a new school year beginning with new pencils, crayons, and notebooks, or perhaps our own children are now in the next grade up, or possibly it is the twinge of coolness in the mornings and evenings that lends us a bit of nostalgic idealism.

I love how God gives us different seasons as resets throughout each year. Maybe our teams will do well this year, maybe our new schedule will be more relaxing or invigorating, maybe all will go smoothly over the holidays this year, maybe we will read those books on our nightstand, or get that new job, or our child or grandchild will have a great year in school. Somehow the earlier arrival of darkness speaks of cozy, calm evenings filled with anticipation of a favorite coffee, hot tea, or cocoa concoction come morning. What fills your heart and mind this season?

Many are already gearing up for the quickly approaching holidays. For some this initiates thoughts of excitement and joy, for others it introduces stress and/or sadness. Plans begin to be discussed concerning who goes where and when. How will we handle that conversation with this person? How willow deal with stressful family situations? Then, there are those who we ache to see, but will not.

When you get right down to it, THIS SEASON is another string of days, should God allow, of His gifts, His blessings, growth opportunities He allows, struggles which He desires to strengthen us through, and of His whispers in the nights of our joy as well as those of despair.

As Emma and I played outside and watched the leaves dancing in the wind today, I thought of how God wants us to just let go of all our expectations, dreams, bitterness, un-forgiveness, plans, pride, priorities, including our vision for how we dreamed our life would look and feel at this point in time.

Some days, like today, the wind blows hard and dashes leaves down by the hoards. Sometimes circumstances blow hard against our status quo as well as our hopes and dreams, and we are forced to let go of things we may want to hold on to. Those leaves piled on the ground are a visual reminder to us of how God is preparing us for the NEXT THING, A NEW SEASON, BRAND NEW GROWTH, HOPE FOR WHAT LIES AHEAD...HIS PLAN!

May we joyfully loosen our grip and yes, even let go of those things God desires us to move on from and fall into the arms of Jesus with abandon! His ways are different than ours for sure, but they are oh so much better. I cannot wait to get to heaven and see and understand all of the miracles that God wrought in the moments, hours, days, and years that God allowed me to live.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Trying to hang onto things for dear life is exhausting, impossible, and occupies your head, hands, and heart. Some spend countless years trying to hold onto their own dreams, plans, relationships, money, status, stuff... when God calls us to let go and fall into His arms, placing our trust in Him and Him alone. May we be like David, who said to Gad in 2 Samuel 24:14, "I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man." Another verse I am reminded of is Psalms 145:14: "The LORD sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down."

May we let go, relax, fall into the arms of Jesus, and enjoy some of this season's best things. I like the following poem by Robert Louis Stevenson:

The Best Things

The best things are nearest;

breath in your nostrils,

light in your eyes,

flowers at your feet,

duties at your hand,

the path of right just before you.

Then do not grasp at the stars,

but do life's plain, common work as it comes,

certain that daily duties and daily bread

are the sweetest things of life."

"I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High" (Psalm 7:17).

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