October Memories and Promises

 October is a month of memories for me. It is the month of my birthday. It is the month when several of my family has birthdays. I have shared birthdays with my grandpa, my father, a cousin, and a friend in college, nieces and nephews, clients, and even strangers in some random line.

October is a time of change. Here in southern California, the weather finally begins to cool after the heat of September. The marine layers return. School is in session and children play outside again. Life begins to fall into the routine of school, work, homework and chores. People begin to work in their yards again. Neighbors feel free to wander the streets, strolling and talking, enjoying the cooler weather.

In northwest Arkansas, the leaves have begun turning colors. Soon the entire countryside will be aglow with such a variety of yellows, oranges, reds and vibrant green.

Life is changing all around us. The change is not unfamiliar. The season changes, time moves on. There are some differences. There are some exceptions such as the extreme heat last week or the very mild summer that we had.

But basically, life moves on in pretty much the same way from year to year. Children grow up, people retire, students graduate, tests are passed and homework is done. The bathrooms need cleaning; the dishes have to be done. We do the same things over and over.

There is a certain comfort in the familiar. Familiar is good unless your normality is uncomfortable. There is dangerous dysfunction and you live in a constant state of turmoil. You are not satisfied if your family’s needs are not being provided for and there is nothing you can do to change that. Then what do you do?

You stop. You pray. You turn to God. You take you troubles there to God and lay them down at his feet. You ask him to tell you what to do next. And then you do the next thing. You keep moving forward. You look up into the sky and see his promise there. You see the beauty there. And you smile.

God will not leave you in this place. He will surround you with his love. He will love you and give you his peace in your heart. He will provide for you and for your family. He will lead you into a place of joy.

This October I am counting on God to help me, to lead me, to give me strength to step out into what he wants me to do. And I will stop and pray. I will turn to God. I will take my troubles to him and lay them down at his feet. I will ask him what to do next. And then, I will do the next thing.

So I looked up into the sky last night and I saw his promise there. I saw the beauty he had created. And I smiled.

Genesis 9:14-17 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the flood waters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”

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