I the Lord do not change.
The sky has hardened into an iron atmosphere, layering itself with blankets of clouds thick and full of snow, which will no doubt spill to earth within days. As I inhale the heavy air into my lungs, it no longer soothes; it stings. I dig my hands deeper into my pockets, attempting to corral the last remnants of autumn that have slipped into the seams of my coat, clinging for dear life.
Bare branches. Signs of the color that once graced the world mere weeks ago, now turned to an ashen state that cowers close to the ground. Empty parks, void of laughter and light. Waking and falling to sleep in darkness. And that endless chill that tears right through the seven layers I use to line my body. Farewell, fall. Welcome, winter.
Yet with the exit of harvest season enters the dreams of December. Silent, snowy walks. The scent of crackling wood exiting through brick-laden chimneys, filling the already spice-spilled space in my heart with an aroma of warmth and kindling excitement. Cookie decorating that ends with most of the frosted sugar treats in my mouth instead of the storage tin. With the dip of the temperature, so comes the rise of star-studded nights and cozy couch sittings where I can sprawl with a cup of hot chocolate and let melodic Christmas songs bathe me in the comfort of our coming King.
Seasons change. It’s inevitable. We can prepare ourselves and hold onto the memories of warmer, brighter times, but change will still greet us in the morning, when we slip outside to take on the day and a billow of crystallized breath erupts from our lips. We cannot control the fluctuating weather, our attitudes, our circumstances that come along with each moment, but we have a God who stands solid and steady, month after month, year after year.
I remind myself of this as I make my way through the snow cracking under my feet, cutting through neighborhoods in the hum of holiday preparation, wondering at the hope of it all, at the wonder of what is coming. God who holds the stars in His hand holds the rocking of this world, all the grit and grace and gore. This year may be like no other before, but now more than ever, this year offers the warmth with which to warm a cooling world.
Immanuel. God with us. The One who stands steadfast, our safe place. He is unchanging. He is completely aware of all that happens. He sees our struggles, our pain, the tears we bottle in our heart, too proud to let spill. And He is the One who casts a silver sheen on the moon to see my unrest and dares to come further into my disorder and brush off the strain in my spirit like the fresh powder sprinkled over my yard.
If the God of all seasons dictates when they fill and fade, how much more does He involve Himself in our lives? I believe He wants to walk with us this month, wants to take our hand, hold us in the hard and holy, and see the world with His eyes in beauty we may have missed in years past. When the year has left us weary, we shift our eyes and ears to the tiny details we’ve long overlooked: the whistle of the wind as it glides across our face; the scent of cinnamon and pine; the family who needs a little help this holiday.
Fall may be fading into winter, but I am far from forgetting how close this consistent One is, who reminds me of what is yet to be. God is manifesting the mess, the mundane, into the miraculous. The change is here, and He is constant. All He gives is good.