I sat the pumpkins out in the kitchen and my “Happy Fall Y’all” wooden sign on the fireplace mantel, even though outside it’s hot and humid and the temps are reaching over 90 degrees.
I’m ready for the seasons to change from summer to fall, and in a few days the calendar promises it will. However, the weather reflecting this change is a whole other story if you’re living in Mississippi.
Fall may arrive with the color change of a few leaves on the trees; with the smell of cinnamon being pumped in the grocery stores (yes, they do this); and pumpkin wreaths hung on many front doors long before the cool weather comes.
Sometimes the fall temps don’t come except for a day or two or three, here and there, until February arrives. This is deep south living where we’re more likely to have two seasons, than the four I came to look forward to while living in the Midwest.
So I determine in my heart it’s going to be fall and I declare it with amber-colored leaf plates and pumpkins of white, green, and gold even before it officially begins on September 23. And so must I proclaim my faith, like fall, to believe what I cannot see until it comes to pass.
I put stakes in the ground claiming territory and believing for the impossible, not knowing what the future holds. I have no certainty of tomorrow, my dreams, or desires – just like I do not know whether the cool, sunny fall weather will come and stay before winter.
And yet I will move forward in persistent faith and unwavering belief waiting to see God move. I will partner with Him and decide to hope against all hope. I will experience fall in my heart and God’s promises.
Just like the “no parking” signs near certain curbs, I’m learning to never park without faith and hope. If I am having a bad day, if my feelings aren’t geeked with Faith-that’s okay. I just cannot stay parked there for long.
Abraham believed God even though time passed by and the miracle of a son did not come on his timetable. Abraham took matters in his own hands, upon the suggestion of his wife, and even then, when life got messy, and a bit out of control, Abraham believed God.
“Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who brings into existence what didn’t exist before”(Romans 4:17).
We pray, we trust, and we get impatient and try to take control and help God out as if He needs our help. Often this results in unwanted pain, but even then God does not turn away from us like He did not turn away from Abraham and Sarah.
His promises stand. His word will come to pass despite our mistakes along the way.
Isaac was born. Abraham became the father of many nations. Abraham was “convinced that God was able to do anything he promised” (Romans 4:21) and God did.
What are you believing for?
What are you convinced of?
What has God asked you to do in this season?
I recently received a “no” to an opportunity that I was hoping for. One that I thought could bring unique connections, fulfill an immediate need, and open doors for our future. Now I am asking myself, can I trust that God has my best interest in mind when I’m holding an unwanted “no” firmly in my hands?
I put more fall decor out, not knowing if fall weather will actually show up, and I have gathered my faith and hope too, not knowing what will come of it.
Either way, I will not quit.
No parking without faith.
I will enjoy the fall colors indoors and believe for the matching cool, crisp air to come. I will imagine, believe and hope for an abundant future with God’s promises coming to pass, all while being grateful for the breath and joy of today.
I will be convinced that God can do anything he promises.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
“I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name” (Psalm 138:2).
“When we set out to go the distance, it’s not going to be easy. Eventually, the emotion wears off. Soon the pain sets in. At some point, the challenge of running your race comes down to whether you will give up or keep going. As Ecclesiastes reminds us, speed alone is no guarantee. The race isn’t always to the swift or the battle to the strong. Sometimes it goes to those who simply refuse to give up.” – Kyle Idleman from his book, Don’t Give Up
My Dad is in rehab having to choose, at eighty-two years old, NOT to give up. To work his muscles in physical therapy after a fall, a broken femur bone, surgery, two hospital stays, and two rehabs. He is choosing faith and hope.
You and I have this same choice. To work our muscles of faith or to settle for what is, lose hope, and give up. We all have this choice.
No parking without faith!
We have our moments where giving up feels easier and almost comforting in some twisted and strange way, like closing our eyes and giving in to the depths of sleep. And yet our calling is to run our race. It will be tough with obstacles and intervals of pain, loss, and heartache – but that is not the end or all of our story.
There are God’s promises, His rewards, and the joy that is before us. There is growth, steadfastness, purpose, passion, and a strong faith that is being born. There are treasures that one only finds as they run this race and choose NOT to give up.
Cheering you on my friend! Let’s stay in this race encouraging one another onward.
P.S. I have devoured the book, Don’t Give Up, by Kyle Idleman. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love his book even more. This post does contain my affiliate link for his book. Enjoy!