The tree outside is totally bare. It looks like sticks in the air. It looks cold and lonely and makes me think of being tired. Somehow it’s still beautiful. Rain dripping from its limbs, or icicles hanging, it becomes more beautiful. I wonder why there is still beauty and even more the harsher the circumstances it endures. I am reminded of the ecclesiastical season for all things:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart;”
What does the ecclesiastical author give us? Context. In the context of buds of spring, the fullness of summer, and the colors of fall, that barren tree is beautiful…we know it’s future. As we know ours….“eternity is in our hearts.” If the season we are experiencing presently feels lonely, barren, lacking, and beaten by harsh “weather,” we have hope. Even this present time does have beauty, because we know our future.
As the end of the year often calls us to evaluate, doing so within the context of a Sovereign God who “makes all things beautiful in its time,” encourages new faith and a steady peace in our lives. We have the assurance that we will grow in truth and bear fruit because of Him. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God…..” even when, especially when, as the tree is, so are we.