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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Welcome fall

My Chinese students had a holiday from school this week. It is their Autumn Festival. It is a family gathering time, and they celebrate by eating special foods. The most popular thing they enjoy is mooncakes. My students tell me it is a cake that is stuffed with either fruits or nuts.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I checked my calendar and noticed that autumn arrived on Wednesday. After the long, hot and dry summer, I am ready for the refreshing change that fall brings. Fall is my second favorite season of the year, behind spring.

Spring is a season of hope and renewal. I am always so excited to begin the gardening season. I love watching everything emerge from winter’s slumber. Spring green has got to be one of my favorite seasonal colors. Spring is a wonderful time of the year.

Fall has many appeals as well. The cooler weather means that I can be outside more. I can’t stand the heat and humidity of August. I like pushing the limits of the growing season and, ultimately, cleaning out the garden. I like sitting outside or going for long walks and the opportunity of doing some physical work.

The downside for me is the watering eyes, runny nose and sneezing of the allergy season… I take a break during the summer from my allergy medicine, and I know that will soon come to an end.

The arrival of fall also alerts me to the upcoming winter season. I love to look at the long-term forecasts as weather enthusiasts make their winter predictions. I find it fun to note that the two almanacs are calling for completely different winter conditions for our area. One is calling for mild and wet, while the other is calling for cold and dry. I believe we are in for an overall mild winter with a couple of shots of cold weather. I am hoping the cold collides with some Gulf moisture to give us a couple of good snows, but I always hope for that.

Winter will arrive all in good time. Right now I want to focus on and enjoy the cooler weather of fall. There are many chores that will demand my attention as we go through this season of change. I am ready to get started on all the tasks calling my name.

I believe the Lord gives us seasons for our enjoyment. Each season has its beauty and wonder, but they also have trials and challenges. There are storms and dry spells, scorching heat and freezing cold. Each challenge helps us to appreciate the good days.

I think the Lord wants us to see in the natural what happens in the spiritual. We all have seasons of growth in our lives. Usually that is followed by a season of fruitfulness. As the fruit wanes we discover a quieter season where we have to dig our roots deeper.

In every season of our lives we will encounter storms. We have to remind ourselves that we will get through each storm that comes our way because God will be with us. He sees the storm coming and He sees us on the other side. Sometimes we will need friends and family to lean on, but we will survive and overcome.

Sometimes things in our lives change, like the seasons. They aren’t tragedies or victories; they are times when things are different. We move or change jobs. We get married and have children. We send the kids to college and have an empty nest. Our parents move in with us. The kids move back home. Life feels like it is in upheaval; it’s changing, it’s different and we have to learn to trust God in new ways for His new adventure.

In every season of life God is always with us, never leaving us. He wants to walk with us through the changes, through the ups and downs of life. These are opportunities for us to draw closer to God. He wants us to lean on Him, to depend on Him. His grace, power and mercy are enough to see us through the dark and difficult times. His love will encompass us.

Whatever season you find yourself in, I want to encourage you to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. If things are good now, draw closer, because trials and storms are going to eventually come. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life, run to God and hide in His robes. Let Him help guide you through to the other side. God loves you more than you can imagine and is waiting for your invitation so He can come and rescue you.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.