Here in the mid-west, we have begun the marvel we call autumn. Fall’s colors delight us with this season’s beauty – indeed, a grace from God. The thrum of cicadas has diminished, leaves are bursting forth in glorious hues, lawns are descending into their golden slumber, and majestic trees reveal their own beauty as they shed their canopies.
With the onset of fall, the folks that live in the country will soon be recreating their annual ritual. Their raking and building of leaf piles culminating in multi-hued leaves of every possible color burned in countless fires that blanket the whole of our country’s mid-west. We may be considered “fly-over” country, but when it comes to autumn, our land is surely the best dressed.
Thinking about the piles of ashes as a kind of door between summer and winter, I began thinking about the post I wrote titled “Some Lessons Hurt.” I thought that topic was in my writer’s rearview mirror; I think God disagreed. The last sentence in that post read: “Nevertheless, the ashes of our hopes and dreams are the ashes of the door God opens for us; some lessons hurt.” This morning I felt like I needed to swing my hammer one more time on that nail.
Think back to when you first accepted Jesus as your personal Savior. At that moment, it was just Jesus and you. I think it must be like conception; suddenly, there is life in you. God gave you a new beginning. For most of us, we didn’t think it was possible to have a second beginning. We had royally messed up our first beginning, and we carried the reward from each sin we committed. That was a heavy burden. But Jesus gave us a new start with new hopes and dreams.
O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.Psalm 40:5 NLT
So, you’ve been a Christian for a while. It’s likely that you’ve allowed some of those old hopes and dreams to grow inside you. But what you don’t know is what God planned for you. You don’t know how close you are to what you have prayed for. You may discover that your dream is the door that is blocking your access to God’s vision for you. Only by burning down the door can you enter God’s plan for you. The ashes of your hopes and dreams may be the ashes from the door that God opens for you. In your life, let God be God.
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