Autumn Wonders

Autumn Wonders

“Praise the LORD!  I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly.  Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.  Splendid and majestic is His work; And His righteousness endures forever.  He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate.” (Psalm 111:1-4 NASB)

God’s majestic wonders are best experienced first-hand, whenever possible.  Although we can tell others about God and His wonders found in the Bible more easily when those works of God have impacted our lives in Christ.  In other words, God’s wonders provide more than just great photo opportunities but things far deeper to stir our hearts and minds in relationship with Him.  Because, God’s miracles are not limited only to what we can hear, see, touch, smell or taste.  God has graciously given us those physical senses ultimately for His glory.  Autumn is a showcase of God’s wonders offering many examples to witness personally and to tell others about Him.  Here are just a few examples:

Hear the seemingly nonstop honking of migrating Canada geese flying overhead both day and night on their annual trek to their original nesting grounds.  More than merely noises to human ears, such multipurpose sounds help maintain the integrity of familiar “V”-shaped, aerodynamic formations moving across the sky.  Rotating leaders of these rolling wedge-like processions take on daytime head winds and push aside calmer nighttime air currents.  Marvel as trailing members of the group take turns sprinting to the point of the wedge to relieve its tiring leader.  These aerial relay teams paint a tremendous picture of humility, selflessness and unity in the Spirit for us, as well.

See and study another autumn flight pattern:  that of leaves tumbling softly, quietly to the ground.  Forget for a moment, the scientific reasons why some autumn leaves become awash with color prior to their gravitational descent on the wings of swirling winds.  Instead, just sit back and enjoy this seasonal exchange unfold as vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow replace months of mundane green.  A spectacular finish to the vital photosynthetic role met tirelessly by such leaves since springtime.  Admire God’s attention to every detail of His creation, often overlooked on our way to something else.  From a distance fallen leaves appear identical in shape and size, waiting for a gale force wind to blow them elsewhere.  You could observe the intricacies of a single wet leaf stuck to your shoe.  Better yet, find a drier leaf with rain droplets nestled on its surface.  Skip the molecular interaction of its adhesive and cohesive properties at work and just enjoy God’s delicate handiwork.  Viewing God’s wonders can be easier to see with telescopes and microscopes.  But sometimes, it’s enough just to open your eyes a little bit wider.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul!  O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with splendor and majesty, Covering Thyself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.”  (Psalm 104:1-4)

Touch the dried textures of an autumn leaf pressed between the pages of an old photo album.  Turn the pages of a braille Bible.  Close your eyes and move your fingers across its uniquely raised surfaces.  Step outside and feel the crisp autumn air against your face and hands.  Brace yourself against buffeting gusts slowing your joyful advance through windrows of fallen leaves.  Jesus overcame contrary winds to rescue His disciples who felt its wet results more than skin deep.  Vivid reminders of the Savior’s power to turn darkness into light and fear into faith.

Smell the wood smoke rising from long-dormant chimneys, drifting aloft… caught up into the distant grey skies amid heart-held memories.  Breathe in the sweet aromas of food cooking atop, or baking within, grandma’s stove and the spicy fragrances of autumn.  Consider the “fragrant aroma” that Christ’s loving, willing offering and sacrifice was to God on our behalf (see Ephesians 5:1-2).   Let that example motivate us throughout every season. Taste the fruit of God’s bounty.  Reflect upon God completing the process from planted seed to harvested seed.  Savor God’s kindness gleaned by the poor from field corners since the days of Ruth and Boaz.  Consider Heaven’s joy over God’s satisfying provision to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Let that whet your appetite.  “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (Psalm 34:8).

“But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.  Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands.  They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them.  Everyone who trusts in them.” (Psalm 115:3-8)

Although autumn is synonymous with harvests of colorful melded red, orange and yellow landscapes, there is another ripened harvest spoken of by our Lord.  Jesus said to His disciples, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.  Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’?  Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:34-35).

Such ripened fields awaiting God’s harvest have remained a challenge for each generation of believers.  How will we respond to this challenge?  Where do we even begin?  On our knees in prayer.  God-given senses can also be sensors of what Jesus wants us to notice and prioritize as His harvesters.  Turn up the volume if necessary but let us be dialed-in to God’s word and wonders.  Though our sensors are humanly limited, Jesus hears the voice of repentant sinners who call upon Him for salvation.  God’s Word tells us, “He who planted the ear, does He not hear?  He who formed the eye, does He not see?” (Psalm 94:9).  God’s senses are the keenest of all.

We have been created by the living God who’s Word tells us of many wonders to observe and appreciate throughout the course of this life.  When we talk with the Lord through prayer and study His Word, may those conversations and precious times with Him deepen our love for Him, strengthen our faith in Christ and equip us to effectively witness to this drab, mundane world.  God’s autumn wonders, such as colorful leaves riding wings of the wind created by and calmed by our Savior, are merely a sampling of all that He has done.  Praise the LORD!

“I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders, I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:1-2)

Alan Summers, GBC Elder

 All Scripture quotes are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), 1975 edition