I just took Gracie outside for her afternoon walk. Oh my goodness! It’s incredibly beautiful today. The sun, though a bit hazy, is bright, the air smells of fall … drying leaves, fields ready for harvest, and the sound of geese overhead. The tips of the leaves on the trees are beginning to turn ever so slightly. The breeze seems to announce that it’s ushering in change … change we know to expect almost like clockwork, but still refreshingly new each year.
When I was a little girl, my Dad would take me down to the metropolitan park on the west side of Cleveland. We’d walk along the trails and look for beautifully colored leaves, peer at the clouds overhead through the towering trees, skip stones in Rocky River, wade through the water on the fjord across the river. I have amazing memories of our fall walks together. Father and daughter together where we could talk, laugh, and love. Such a picture! Such a precious time this daughter has cherished all her life.
Even though my Dad is gone, the seasons still change. Time goes on. The seasons come and go like clockwork, but still bring with them memories of a childhood that was a precious gift to me by God Himself.
I wasn’t born to my parents—I was chosen by them. My biological parents’ rights were severed by the court systems when I was nearly two years old. My parents saw me and fell in love, took me home to raise me as their very own. I became their daughter and they became my parents – parents who spared me from a lifetime of pain and suffering that would have been mine if God had not intervened. You see, it was all God – I had no choice. I simply grew into my new family, bore their name, adopted their customs and behaviorisms, and became every wit there’s. As I grew to adulthood, there was never a question about whose daughter I was – I was my parent’s daughter.
This is such a perfect picture of how God becomes our Father. When we are born, we are abandoned and orphaned because of our sin—fatherless and illegitimate children. In His great love and mercy, God chooses us – not because we have anything to offer Him, but because He wants children upon whom He can lavish His love. He takes us as His own and spares us from a life of pain and agony that would have otherwise been our destiny if He had not intervened. It is all God – we have very little say in it. Our part – our only part in the entire equation is to make ourselves available to Him, to submit to His sovereign call, and to come to Him as broken vessels needing to be made new.
We are powerless to become His child on our own volition. The Spirit draws us, He calls us, He reaches down to rescue us, and we submit. Just like my Mom and Dad. I was too young to come to them and ask them to take me as their own. But when they reached out, I became part of their family just like we become part of God’s family, bearing His name, growing to resemble Him more and more as we mature, taking on His character as we spend more time with Him.
Isn’t it amazing how God calls us to be His own by drawing us and stirring in our hearts? Isn’t it amazing how He spends time with us—one on one—to nurture us and teach us and lavish His love on us? Isn’t it amazing how seasons come and go even in our relationship with Him … we have seasons of unexplainable joy as well as seasons of unbelievable pain. Yet, He’s right there with us through it all, being our Father in His steadfastness and committed way. Even when we mess us, He never abandons us, but He woos us back into right relationship with Him.
Oh, yes! I love fall because it reminds me of my Father’s love for me through the changing seasons of life. The fresh, fall winds lead me to yearn for the day I will be changed, in the twinkling of an eye, and forever be with my Father in His house, to bask in the Sonlight, and to walk along the streets of glory breathing in the winds of eternal life that have enraptured my soul.
© 2008 Jan Ross
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