by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
Squirrels scurry by, cheeks filled with acorns from the oak in the meadow where tall grass sways in the September breeze. Goldenrod blankets the roadside. An occasional brisk morning paints the slightest tips of color on the sugar maple leaves.
Though the hot, humid days of summer remain, change is beginning across our mountains.
Nature resounds with the stirring of fall.
God has placed a deep knowing within each tree, each plant, each of His creatures that change is coming — the time to transition is now.
God has placed that same knowing in each of us — if we’ll listen.
Recently I prayed, asking the Lord to stir within me a deeper longing for Him. I needed a change. The searing heat from the fires of affliction had taken its toll leaving the dynamics of my faith stale, my spirit weary.
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Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like you were just going through the motions longing for the day when you would return from your captivity and your spirit would erupt in praise once again?
That’s where I found myself.
I prayed a fervent prayer of longing for the Lord, asking — begging — Him to stir within me and awaken my heart to love Him more, to embrace the transitions of life.
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The Hebrew word for ‘stirred up’ is ‘ur (oor) meaning to rouse, awaken, excite, raise up, arouse to action, open one’s eyes.
The Lord stirred up Zerubbabel to restore the temple (Haggai 1:14).
- An eagle stirs up its nest, hovering over its young, and taking them upon its wings to give them the gift of flight (Deuteronomy 32:11).
- A musical instrument is awakened — warmed up to play (Psalm 108:2).
- And the Lord called to the prophet Isaiah each morning and wakened his ears to hear (Isaiah 50:4).
Just as the Lord is stirring His creation to proclaim His glory in the array of fall colors, He is stirring in me. I’m learning the shout of glory comes in letting go of the dead things — much like the copper, ruby, and yellow leaves that delight our soul.
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The beauty is in letting go.
Letting go of the burdens that keep us bound.
Letting go of our entitled pain and disappointment.
Letting go of the consuming complacency that comes from self-preservation.
Letting go because the Lord is stirring …
And I trust Him.
The swallowtails have returned to the mountain in droves. I watch their graceful flight and think of my own. My gaze follows one to the sugar maple with its slightly red-tinged leaves and I’m reminded of life’s transitions.
I’m reminded that when the Lord is stirring, all things become beautiful.
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