It's a bluebird sky, seventy-seven degrees with a light breeze. Well, not really. The wind just blew my beach chair off the dock into the water, but overall, it's perfect. As I look out across the lake, I notice that now, with it being mid-September, the sun is changing, the leaves are beginning to fade and the lake is desolate aside from the lingering seagulls. It's different. It's different than the premature start of summer, when we hit the lake for the Memorial Day Weekend and all of the anticipation that has built up throughout the winter causes us to do crazy things, like jump in Lake Michigan when it's only sixty degrees out! The glimpse of summer on the horizon creates excitement and wonder.But as I sit here watching the fall winds whip across the lake pushing shadowy ripples this way and that, I am reminded that winter is coming. In the midst of my thought I catch myself saying "I love this place no matter the season" and God responds, "I love YOU no matter the season". God's love is not a season, and the love that he gives through us to others was never meant to depend on the season.
My husband and I have seen many different seasons in our nearly 11 years of marriage, and he would agree that most of these seasons have seemed like the coldest of winters. The terrain was lifeless, the temperatures chilling and a few times nearly unbearable. Our marriage finally changed when we realized that love was not a season. We decided that although we may go through different seasons in our marriage, that our love was not going to change. That as sure as the setting of the sun and the hanging of the moon, so would be our love and commitment to one another. Many of us say these vows when we get married, and most of us mean them until the seasons begin to change and we don't recognize the familiar anymore. We want so desperately to be "in love" forever, but don't acknowledge that love isn't something we fall out of, it's something we walk out of. Because when we get down to the nitty gritty of this abused word called love, and the depth of what God truly intended for it to be, it really doesn't have anything to do with how we feel, it has everything to do with how we act.
1 Corinthians 13; Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.
There is beauty in every season if we allow love to be our constant.