In this beautiful autumn season, we enjoy shuffling our feet in the fallen leaves. They’re moist or crinkly brittle and losing their color. God in His never-ending wisdom has a purpose for the dying, rotting leaves. They insulate the ground, provide hiding spots for a host of critters, and nourish the soil. As winter approaches and we see their death, we can’t help but be encouraged by future life emerging from them. What a wonderful reminder of Jesus, the light of life. From His death came new life. For us believers, we can believe the same. Like dying leaves, our death too will bring life eternal.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Once again the time has come to cover our tomato plants and other fragile vegetables and flowers against frosty autumn nights. When we head outdoors in the cold or rain, we cover our heads, too. Umbrellas, hats, and rain gear are good protectors during inclement weather. And when it snows, we get out the parka.
I used to cover my garden with lightweight blankets. They also work well to cover furniture against dust. And of course, most of us use blankets to cover ourselves at night. Sometimes, however, we put a blanket on our raw emotions to avoid or hide them. How many times have we answered someone’s “How are you” with a smile and a “Fine,” when we didn’t feel fine at all? We may have been crying on the inside because someone criticized us. We may have felt self-pity or loneliness over a friend’s neglect, sadness because a loved one was ill or had died, anxiety and fear about a threat, or guilt from a willful misdeed.
Covering our bad feelings is common to most of us. We don’t like to expose our hurts and failures to others. Not that we should spew out our feelings of self-pity and anger to everyone. It’s always good to address our feelings, problems, or faults with those we love and trust. The problem with cover-ups, however, is that they leave no chance for the problem to be solved. They also can give others the wrong impression about us and, if we continue in the lie, we eventually tend to believe the lie ourselves.
Because we can’t see God, it’s easy to believe He can’t see our faults, either. But He can’t work effectively in our lives until we’re willing to remove our emotional blankets and expose our true selves to Him. Like a shepherd who covers—or anoints—the raw wounds of his sheep with oil, Jesus the Good Shepherd offers healing to our body, soul, and spirit through His powerful anointing. When we remove our coverings and replace them with His, then joy, peace, and freedom will be ours.
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One…” (1 John 2:20) The Psalmist says, “He (Jesus) will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge … because you have made the Lord … your dwelling place.” (Psalm 91:4, 9)
Lord, forgive us when we’ve covered our bad feelings and our sins, thus hindering You from giving us Your perfect covering. Give us the will and strength to remove the coverings we’ve held onto for so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.