Fall. I absolutely love this time of year. I consider myself lucky to live in a region of the world where I have the opportunity to experience all four seasons. Sure, I often complain when it's too hot and humid in the summer, too rainy in the spring and too cold and blustery in the winter, but there's just something about the season of Fall that wraps up all of the seasons together.
As I drive around town, the sun shines on the tips of the trees and I marvel in wonder at how their colors are changing from luscious greens to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. The air is just crisp enough that I need to grab a light jacket on my way out the door, and of course, there's the excitement of football games, apple cider, gourds, and pumpkins. Every single aspect of this season is comforting to me. It feels like home.
I also love it when the stores release all of their Fall candles. Scents like Pumpkin Marshmallow, Honeycrisp Apple and Fall Leaves fill every square inch of the space I inhabit. In fact, one of the first things I do on a day at home is light one (or two) of my candles. The flame has the unique capacity to draw me in, hold my attention, and calm my often anxious spirit.
Our faith can be looked at in much the same way. Some, when looking at the flame of a candle, choose only to see the danger of the fire. They fear it's power and it's strength. Then there are the others, who choose to see the flame as a glorious, bright, and comforting light.
When you focus on your faith, do you see only the good God has done in and through your life? Or do you accept the darkness that has descended upon you at times as well; those times when you were challenged to your core?
Let me ask you, friends - why should we be exempt from suffering, if the Son of God wasn't exempt? The Cross is our daily proof that Jesus, Our Savior, experienced the ultimate heartache. His blood was shed for us. People turned their backs on him even after they promised to follow him. He was betrayed and mocked. Some of us could say, me too, because we've had similar heartbreaking experiences, but nothing compares to what he lived out.
Our faith, like the flame of a candle, can do one of two things. We can turn away from it out of fear, or we can allow it to draw us in. There will always be darkness, yes, but the light has the power to resurrect even the darkest of nights, just as it can do with our suffering.
So...how will you choose?