I was shocked the first time I flew into the city of Atlanta. The aerial view was so telling: We’re covered in trees. Though this fact is challenging for those who suffer with environmental allergies and a threat to power lines in an ice storm, it makes for a beautiful home-place. Today, however, is different, though equally as beautiful. Today, we are covered in white – with more white coming down as I write and more white on the way. We’re in the middle of our second snow and ice storm of the season.
Yet, this too will pass. The predicted high temperature for Sunday is 50 degrees. In the long range forecast, we’re expected to reach 70 degrees!!! by the end of next week. As King Solomon said, “There’s a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecc. 3:1). In Atlanta we often experience two seasons within one week.
There’s great beauty and purpose in the change of seasons. As King Solomon also said, “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecc. 3:11). Lately I’ve seen this truth more vividly than ever before. The understanding hasn’t come because circumstances have changed dramatically. It hasn’t come because “things” look like I’d hoped. I’ve seen it because God has opened my eyes to small things, the “looks nothing like I thought it should look” things, and shown me that He IS at work. Far beyond my hopes and expectations, God alone makes all things the most beautiful in their time.
Many years ago the Lord placed this simple, yet deeply impactful poem on my heart:
My ways are not your ways.
My thoughts are not your thoughts.
The picture I’m painting doesn’t look like you’ve sought.
But trust Me, just trust me, and one day you’ll see,
Your lives will be all I designed them to be.
It’s taken years to embrace these words, but I’m getting there. I’ve labeled 2011-2013 as the Proverbs 3:5-6 years:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
The events of the past few years have made little sense to me. Yet in them and through them, God has done much more than I hoped or expected. He’s painting His picture. He’s forming our lives to be what He designed them to be – doing so in His time, His ways, and in seasons of His choosing. And even where I don’t see it, I think I’m finally believing it. In all of our lives, He truly is making all things beautiful in His time.