The rain battered the canopy of trees that border my backyard. The winds curved the limbs and the last leaves relented, piling together on the grass below.
It happens every year. The rain and winds force the lingering leaves to the ground. We know those leaves that haven’t dropped yet, will.
And every year, it bothers me.
It bothers me that change comes at us. It bothers me that we have no say in the matter. It bothers me that the wind and rain can sweep through and take what we’re holding, leaving our limbs bare.
I’ve never been a fan of change. Most people aren’t. I like what’s comfortable. What works. What’s predictable.
But as I stare at the empty brown limbs, the shadow of summer’s shade, I wonder: If I had to choose to change on my own, how many seasons would I miss? How long would I stay stuck, holding onto brown wilted leaves?
My own hardest seasons, the one that bared my limbs, are the very ones that forced the most beautiful change. The hardest uninvited rains and winds ushered in unprecedented growth. As the leaves I once hid behind loosened, I found freedom. The curving and the stripping forced my roots deeper. The emptying allowed the growth I needed but wouldn’t have chosen.
God knows we don’t always choose to let things go. He knows we won’t choose hard places to grow through. And He knows where we’re stuck.
So, He allows the rain and wind to loosen our grip on what was. He allows limbs to bend and boughs to empty to expose what is. And then He pulls us close, to hold us and grow us for what will be.
Let’s not miss the promise of what’s ahead.