(Do NOT adjust your screens! Pictures are of the same tree, 12 months apart.)
“Not this year.”
If my usually beautiful red maple could speak, that might have been its message. For more than 25 years this tree has been a source of tremendous delight for the entire neighborhood. In addition to its typical vibrant color, this tree is unique because it’s a “late bloomer.” Each autumn, this tree is just beginning to peak after the others have dropped their leaves.
Ordinarily that’s great. But, “not this year.” This year, while so many trees provided a spectacular landscape, my tree missed out. Before those late-blooming leaves could turn, we experienced three early snow storms. The snow stuck to the leaves, halting their transition to full color. The result? Leaves that look like they’ve been soaked in muddy water!
I’m disappointed. But, I’m also reminded that sometimes circumstances bring changes we didn’t invite. The harsh, cold storms of life sometimes take their toll. My tree was minding its own business, just waiting its turn to shine. It was ready. It was willing. But the unexpected happened, and its ability to “perform” as usual was stripped away. This year. But, it will be back.
Friends, maybe you’re in a season where harsh and uninvited circumstances have drained you of your vibrant energy. Perhaps you’re tired and unable to perform as you’re used to. Maybe those around you have had more ‘snow’ dumped on their leaves than they can handle too. May I remind you (all of us, really) that it’s “Okay to not be okay” 24/7/365! Give yourself and others a necessary break. I think it might be called, “grace” – extend it to all – including yourself! –Dave
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
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