Those who know me know that one of my favorite places to visit is Longwood Gardens in PA. Some people go to Disneyworld – I go to Longwood Gardens. It is beautiful at every season of the year. There is always something new to see – not just in the indoor conservatory but outdoors as well.
Now some people would think that there wouldn’t really be much to look at in the fall and winter. I was there just about two weeks ago and there were still some beautiful dahlias blooming, and even the rose garden still had some beautiful and fragrant blooms.
One area of the grounds that is usually exceptionally beautiful was, at a first glance, bare. But then I noticed sections where bulbs were being laid out for planting. They don’t look like much, but if you look closely you can see variations in the size, shape and even color of the bulbs. In five or six months, those flower beds will be awash with vibrant colors as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths burst from the ground. I can almost see it in my mind, and can’t wait to go back and see them all in bloom.
Our lives often feel like autumn. Things may seem to be passing away, days are growing shorter and the darkness sets in earlier in the evening. But God has designed each season for a purpose and the cold and dark of fall and winter are necessary for the beauty of spring and summer.
I love the trees in fall. The glorious colors of yellow, gold, orange, flame red and deep russet are so striking against a clear blue sky. Living in the pine trees, I don’t often see the beautiful wash of fall color that is often seen in pictures of New England. But I will frequently see one beautiful tree and am just amazed at the color and vibrancy.
I’d sort of love those colors to last longer. It’s always kind of sad when a storm will blow through and the trees are stripped bare. But it’s essential for those leaves to fall in order for new growth to take place. Wouldn’t it be kind of silly for a tree to hold on to those dead leaves when there is new growth in the process, just waiting to happen?
In our lives, too, sometimes we can hold on to things that God wants us to let go of, in order that He can then bless us with something new. We’re so short-sighted and don’t want to let go of what we think is good. But until we let go, He can’t bless us with the new thing that He has planned for us. We need to be like the trees that let go of their leaves in a blaze of glory, endure the cold of winter, knowing that the promise of new growth always comes in the spring.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
If you’re holding on to something that it’s time to release, then follow Paul’s example and let go of what is past and reach forward to all that God has for you.
Written by Ruth Schmidt: Ruth Schmidt has worked at America’s Keswick since 1985. She currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Bill Welte.
Think About This: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ―