Fall happened suddenly for me this year. The air has chilled, the leaves have changed, and heavy rains and an early snow have forced some trees to lose their color before I’ve fully come to terms with the change of seasons. Summer was a discouragement for me. Fall is over before it started. Now winter is looming like the long shadows that creep across our yard.
The trees on our property are giving up and letting go of their foliage. All except one. The young oak tree remains. Standing firm. Clinging tightly to what is hers.
She will be there for me all winter. Just outside my back door. Encouraging me to hang on. When the wind kicks up and the flurries come, her rustling leaves are a reminder to me that the creator that gives her life is the creator that has given me life. The creator that designed the oak tree to hold fast to her leaves through the winter, designed me, too.
Isaiah 61 promises us beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, and that we will be called Oaks of Righteousness – a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.
As we go through the seasons of life, we will all come upon on time of winter. Dark, cold, isolating. We should stand as tall as the oaks. Long after others have succumbed to the season, we should cling to the promise of spring.
Trade our ashes for beauty, replace mourning with joy, and shed our despair for a garment of praise.
Lord willing, we can be Oaks of Righteousness. Planted by Him. Sustained by Him. And rooted by Him for the display of His splendor.