Texas temperatures are not exactly falling – but they are abating a bit, reaching the mid 80’s today. Fall might just get here before Halloween! As if to encourage this hope, a lone rose waved at me from across the yard the other day – it was an unexpected confirmation of autumn’s arrival.
Years previously, several would have bloomed in mid-October, but 2015 was a rough summer, and a few rose bushes didn’t survive the heat and broken sprinkler. Spotting it, I had hope: triple digits may be gone! Its unfolding color and faint fragrance, though, are reminders of a season too quickly gone.
The rose is salmon pink — a bit more vivid than the cover of this year’s journal. That too is a reminder of how quickly days are passing. When I thumb through its pages, I shake my head — where did all the days go? So many pages now are filled with appointments, plans, ruminations, and prayers.
I do better remembering and praying when I write out a reminder. Not that the handwriting is so legible, or the prayers are so coherent. If anyone read them, they probably would make no sense; my hope is that God understands what may appear inscrutable, and is at work. An unwritten thread I have woven in many of the prayers is God please show Yourself real.
Thumbing through the entries, I see God’s provisions, abundant and astonishing; I see some marvelous answers, and I see many more prayers I have neglected. Paraphrasing James –
“You have not because you ask not – and when you do, your motives are at best, mixed.” (James 4:3)
Both this autumn rose and my journal are complementary tangible reminders – that God is good, faithful, creative, and real – and somehow what I pray has a tiny purpose in a scheme far grander than my imagination or experience or understanding.
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! (Isaiah 64:4; 1 Corinthians 2:9)
The test is waiting.
How about you, dear reader? Can you believe the tenth month of this year is half-gone? How have you seen your prayers answered this year . . . or your hope in God encouraged?
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Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things. ~Sam Shoemaker* (from the Quotegarden.com)