Beauty in All Seasons

November 23, 2020

By Gina Padilla

Most people I know greet the arrival of fall with a big cheer. They love the cooler days, bright fall foliage and pumpkin spice everything. I on the other hand used to greet fall with a groan. I am not a fan of pumpkin spice and I love summer! The long hot days take me back to a time of innocence and freedom made up of boating, swimming, picnicking, bike riding and neighborhood games of kick the can.

When the days start to get shorter and the leaves begin to fall, instead of being filled with hope for a new season, I would be filled with a sense of dread as I knew the dark days of winter would follow the too brief season of fall. Soon the skies would be gray, the sun (if we got to see it) would disappear around 5pm, and snow and cold would greet us when we stepped out of homes. There were days I left for work in the dark and returned from work in the dark.

As I was lamenting the changing of the seasons a few years ago, God put on my heart a task to “find the beauty.” I still whined about the loss of summer and in His boundless grace, but the verse that came to me was:

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24 ESV

As I was reading this verse, I realized that I only recited this verse on sunny beautiful days. I never said it if it was rainy, overcast or snowing. I couldn’t believe my selfishness. Somehow my rejoicing in God’s glory was dependent on the weather!

I began to be intentional about that verse. I recited it every morning as I woke up and drew back the curtains. Instead of grimacing if it was gray or cloudy, I made a choice to be glad and not complain about the weather. As I did this God opened my eyes to see beauty I had never noticed before.

The colors of the fall leaves never seemed more brilliant. The rain never felt more cleansing. I not only noticed the birds flying south for the winter, but the birds that stay.  I saw raindrops perched on delicate petals of fall flowers and felt the satisfying crunch of the leaves under my feet. During a break from shoveling snow, I fell back into fresh snow and made a snow angel, gazing up at snowflakes falling so gently I felt like I was inside a snow globe. The cardinal never looked more radiant than against the stark white snow and I had to put on my sunglasses as a new blanket of snow dazzled like diamonds in the winter sun. I spotted the first crocuses sprouting up from the newly thawed ground and knew that the long, hot days of summer would return soon.

I thank God that He opened my eyes and changed my perspective. Every day may not dawn bright and sunny, but it is a day filled with wonders and beautiful new mercies if you know where to look.

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24 ESV

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