Working in the Autumn of Our Lives
by Jonathan Laird
As the seasons transition and 2009 (first published Easter 2009) picks up speed in earnest, it maybe a good time to reflect on God’s purposes for our lives? The onset of autumn may cause leaves to change colour and die. Similarly, that which was good and in the Lord yesterday, may not be His perfect will for today?
The ancient Israelites were directed by God to collect manna on a daily basis. With the exception of the Sabbath, the manna collected would only be of use over the next 24 hour period, after which it putrefied. Whilst this does not represent an entirely accurate template for prayer today, I believe that there are parallels that we can draw upon. God’s mercies “are new every morning”. He desires us to draw near to Him everyday in fellowship and I personally find that an early start is hard to beat. It’s great to offer Him the ‘first fruits’ of the day before the clamour of our busy lives starts to make their strident demands.
It may be that He will or won’t communicate to us in an overt sense, I don’t think that matters so much, what matters more to Him is that we give Him quality time. If we truly love somebody, we want to spend time with them. Our relationship with God is the same. If we really want to hear His “still, small voice”, then we need to be still and “small” (humble) before Him. If we want to be able to sense the nuances of God’s communication with us then we have to spend regular, quality time getting to know Him. The primary and most reliable way we get to know God is by studying His word. We need to grow in our love for Christ “the Word of God” and seek after the truths contained within with a real hunger. If we will be faithful to pursue God in this, then He promises us that He will meet us.
Hungering after God’s Word and developing a habit of studying can be a difficult thing, but if we will pursue Him, then we will grow and become stronger and more confident in Him.
I think that it was Wesley who said that he would have no difficulty in finding people who would lay down their lives for God, but finding people that would diligently spent significant time in reading and studying God’s Word was a much harder matter!
In 1 John 4:18 God promises that “perfect loves casts out all fear”. When we are made perfect in love through knowing Him who is perfect love, then our enemies such as anxiety, depression and confusion will be overcome by the greater One who lives inside of us. Do you believe it?
Psychologists have proven that we gravitate to the things that we practice the most. If we will choose to spend regular, quality time with the Master in the Word and prayer, then we will find that our love for both will grow. If we are presently in a seasonal change in our own lives, then may God grant that the only things that die and fall away from us (as autumn leaves) are the things that hold us back from pursuing Him.