Without a doubt the Autumn months are my favorite of the four seasons. Maybe it is because my birthday rolls around towards the end of September. Or perhaps it is because both of my now grown children were October babies. Maybe I just like pumpkins! I don’t know the exact reason because truly I have so many. What I do know is that the magnificent display of color change during the Fall months makes my heart sing and my soul dance like no other time of the year. The crispness of cooler temperatures revives my spirit anew and I feel regenerated. Every year as the calendar flips to September I just simply cannot contain my eagerness to transform my home décor into the harvest colors of autumn. My eyes begin to search to see if maybe…just maybe…there is a hint of fall by some random small traces of color change in the foliage.
This past June my family and I relocated from the windy city of Chicago to just south of the Nashville area. It is truly a lovely place and my once Texas roots were delighted to be back on southern soil after 10 years in more northern territory. However, much to my dismay I quickly learned that in these parts, September is lumped into the summer and you can think twice about shutting off the air conditioner. Nevertheless the heat and still humid days did not keep my mind and eyes looking for a tad of a fall preview. The last week of September I finally began to see some hints of color changes in some of the trees and that was my signal. Bar the door because my fall décor was coming out of storage! Yes I spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon pulling wreathes, pumpkins, scare crows and other carefully wrapped treasures from a big blue crate and finding just the right spot for each item in our new home. After hours of arranging and rearranging my harvest collection I was finally satisfied that once again I had done justice to each piece.
Now for the next two months I will enjoy walking room to room and seeing the colorful splashes of reds, plums and oranges brightening up our home in a new way. My fall décor that had been wrapped up, packed and stored away since last fall was once again fulfilling its purpose. But for the past year these items have had to sit boxed on a shelf waiting for the proper season to make their appearance and be put to the use for which they were intended. I mean think how silly and out of place my gorgeous foyer wreath would have looked if I had hung it up in February! The timing would have been wrong for the wreath. But now months later as the harvest season is upon us this wreath gets its chance again to grace my home with loveliness.
Now dear reader I would like to pose a question to you. Have you ever felt like your life was in “storage mode?” Have there been seasons in your life that you felt like God “put you on the shelf?” I am sure someone reading this right now knows exactly what I am referring to. In other words you know you are supposed to be doing more. You know that you have gifts and talents you want so much to use to bless other people with. But no matter what you do the doors of opportunity just do not open. The lid on the crate is shut tight!
Friends, I know exactly how you feel if you are in this situation right now. I have been there…more than once! It can be very frustrating. I understand this more than you know. But I am going to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready for this big piece of news?
There IS a purpose for that shelf time.
This is not wasted time but rather a time of preparation for the right season to come forth. You are being made ready to do more than you can imagine if you allow God to keep you tucked away safely for just a little while. No matter how difficult things seem it is only for a season. I promise it is not forever!
For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1~
Another piece of good news is that God tenderly wrapped you in his love before he placed you on the shelf. Just as I carefully wrap up each delicate piece of décor to prevent it from breaking before storing it, so it is with God. His awesome Father’s heart makes sure that you are tucked safely away from harm before putting you on a shelf to wait out your season of preparation.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge… ~Psalm 91:4~
Finally I want you to remember that your shelf time is perfectly timed by the Father. It cannot be rushed. Trying to work yourself out of the crate will only lead to frustration and so much wasted energy. Do not fool yourself into thinking you have to understand all the reasons your life is on hold or try to figure out a way to shorten the process. It is all about God’s timing…not your timing. Be patient. Wait on God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. ~Isaiah 55:8-9~
Even now as I sit at my desk and gaze out my office window I see more evidence of a change of seasons. I also realize that there is still more work to be done as I notice that there are still a lot of green leaves remaining. I remind myself that the foliage in Tennessee is on a different time frame than the leaves of the north. But for each location the timing is just as it should be. So the green leaves patiently wait for just the right moment when they too will change colors. At the appointed time they will join the other leaves to create a magnificent display of God’s glory through a tapestry of harvest colors.
Friend, my prayer for you as you read this is that the change of seasons be a lesson of timing and patience for you. God set you on a shelf to rest awhile, renew your soul and do a deeper work in you. Do not despise this time. As you wait… keep your ears open. Listen. Do you hear that too? Yes I do believe I hear foot steps! It is the Father coming to pull your life off the shelf and out of the crate. The lid is coming off and your wait is almost over. Get ready to shine my friend. Your season of glory has come and it is time once again to do that which you were created to do!
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~Ephesians 2:10~
photos taken by Rosie Williams