Yet Eternal

As is typically the case here in Maryland, we went from sunny, balmy days, to breezy days and cold nights in the blink of an eye. One day, it was eighty-five degrees, and the next, it was fifty! Fall is certainly here, and according to the national weather map, that’s the case across the country. Along with pumpkin spice lattes and the sudden appearance of corn mazes and apple cider ice cream, we’re turning our focus to warm fires, cozy sweaters, and fast approaching holidays.

The leaves are beginning to change, and the days are growing shorter and shorter with less daylight in each twenty-four period. My evening walks are now late afternoon walks, and we’re turning in earlier than we were just a couple weeks ago.

I like to think of fall as the time of year when we recharge. It’s the chance to snuggle under a blanket, sip from a big mug of hot chocolate, and take Sunday afternoon naps. There seems to be a kind of lull between the busyness of the summer and the rush of the holidays where we can just take a deep breath and gaze at the world around us.

While spring and summer treat us to colorful blooms, and butterflies and birds abound, there’s no time like fall for the earth to truly show its glorious hues.

Whether it’s a spectacular sunset,

A view from a mountaintop,

or just a line of trees in my own back yard,

I always feel blessed to be able to witness the changing of the season in such dramatic fashion. I believe that fall is that time of year when God reminds us that life is fleeting and not to be wasted. That even the most brilliant hues fade, the most spectacular sunsets turn black, and the leaves all fall to the ground. Nobody sums it up better than the great Robert Frost:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/robert-frost

But there is hope. As I said, fall is the time to recharge. We are not meant to fade into nothingness, to remain in the dark, to simply fall to the ground for “The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). As St. Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians,

 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Do not be discouraged by the passing of time, the shortening of the days, or the coming cold. Trust in God, and know that you are being recharged and renewed every day. Take heart, like the leaves that turn orange then yellow then brown and then disappear, we, too, are being changed, transformed, renewed. We do not see the new leaves all winter, but we see them emerging as tiny buds in the spring; they are unseen yet eternal.

Delight in the fall, in the colors around you, the changing of seasons, the unseen and unknown. All of the troubles we face today will pass, fall away like the leaves on the trees. A new season will come, and with it, the promise of things unseen yet eternal.

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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture MeWhispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016.  Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy,  Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and at http://amyschislerauthor.com.

Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019).

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