The Whisper of the Fiery Red Tree

"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.'”
Revelation 21:4-5 (New King James Version)

I absolutely love Tennessee. After so many years of living in a place where the season of cold went three months beyond when the calendar declared it was spring, I thoroughly enjoy the weather in the South. The nights are starting to become chilly enough for me to grab a jacket on the way out the door. We live in the country--but, thankfully, five minutes away from Kroger--so bonfires in our back yard are something the kids look forward to in the fall.

The leaves are just starting to change. There is a tree right down the street that is a brilliant, fiery red. Each time I pass it during the day, I just feel glad inside. I can never decide which season is my favorite--autumn or spring. Our neighborhood is set on rolling hills. I never feel closer to God than when I am outside walking and looking at the miracle of nature all around me.

One of my favorite passages about nature is found in the Old Testament book of Isaiah. I fell in love with that book of Scripture that I had avoided out of fear for so long during a Beth Moore study that I did several years ago. Each autumn and spring, as I am walking, I remember Isaiah 49:13-18

13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me."

15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!

16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.

17 Your sons hasten back,
and those who laid you waste depart from you.

18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your sons gather and come to you.
As surely as I live," declares the LORD,
"you will wear them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.

That fiery red tree down my street is not merely changing because of the season. No, nature is declaring once again that our God will comfort and have compassion on His afflicted ones. Every season, He makes known to us through nature that He will never forget you and me. Maybe, like one of my dearest friends in the whole world, your relationship with your mom has been one that has caused you great pain. Even though she may forget you, my precious sister, our Jesus never does. You and I are branded on His hands. Those who have faced abandonment in this essential relationship with their mothers have deep wounds that have created great scars.

But listen! Our God is the God who has the power to make everything new. You and I are not doomed to repeat those same hurts with our children. In fact, the Lord tells us to lift up our eyes and look around. Even if we have experienced estrangement with our mothers, His healing in our lives can be so profound that our mothering can be like the precious stones that a bride wears on her wedding day.

My mother is one of my best friends. Somewhere along the way, she and I have become soul mates as well as mother and daughter. Maybe you do not have that kind relationship with your mom. But you can have that sort of relationship with the children that God has blessed you with. My mom made Jesus famous to me. He is the cornerstone of our relationship. By making Him the cornerstone of our relationships with our sons and daughters, we can be healed from those old wounds and hurts that some of us may have experienced in childhood.

Next time we gaze on the brilliancy of all that is going on around us in nature, I hope that we will remember this promise made by God to you and me. I used to wonder why my heart leapt inside my chest when I looked at yellow and red hues on the hills around my home. God's Word has told me why that happens. Nature is rejoicing over our faithful God! Oh, my beloved sister, can't You hear His whisper of comfort to you as the autumn breeze blows through those beautiful, changing leaves all around you?

Jesus, You are the Master Artist. Every season declares again that You are the God who makes all things new. Thank you for redemption and healing, no matter how deep the hurt or old the scar. We always have hope that You work all things--the good and the bad--together for our good because Your compassion and mercies toward us are new every morning.