Beauty. We fight desperately to keep it. We seek it out. I stared up at this tree in front of our house a couple weeks ago. I swear it gets prettier every year. The leaves were so red, and the sky was so blue.
Even as I took in its beauty, I realized that it would last for mere days and then be bare and colorless. Beauty fades all too quickly. My mom’s favorite flower is the lilac. She had huge bushes of them in our backyard growing up. Lilacs are in bloom for about two weeks, and I always wish it lasted so much longer.
I wonder if God made seasons in nature to parallel the seasons in our lives. Nature isn’t always bright and stunning, sometimes it is cold and brown. What would happen if no winter existed? Could crops grow all year long? When would the land rest? The dormant seasons are not pretty from the outside, but the work God does in our hearts when things are cold and bleak is essential. It shapes and forms our character, who we are when no one is looking. And when the beauty returns, it stuns us in a way we could not see before. The deep gratitude and appreciation for the beauty would not be there without the dark, cold days where the deep work is done.
I have never been good at appreciating the dark night of the soul when it is present, but as I get older, I have seen the amazing work that God does when no one is looking. There is nothing flashy or beautiful about it, but it is necessary to bring about the beauty that is to come. I am not thrilled about the seemingly early arrival of winter this year. But I trust God that He can bring me through the winter no matter how long it lasts. He will see you through as well.