That sweet and sour time of year has come around again – as children delight in the sugary treats – but tremble at the spooky scenes throughout the town. It is the particular season when God’s beautifully painted landscapes are marred by streaks of cultural darkness. The concept of autumn is by design – the beginning of death, or dormancy, for much of the world’s plant and animal life. This is the probable explanation of why the defeated Devil so brazenly celebrates at this gloomy time (though his very existence is widely denied). Christ-followers will not despair, however, knowing that the LORD’s light will ultimately overcome the increasing prevalence of evil. Furthermore, only our amazing Creator would originate the idea of splashing foliage with glorious color in the midst of the dying process. Nature provides us continuous evidence of God’s presence and faithfulness in its seasonal miracles – continually reproducing marvelous creations repeatedly through the years.
So what then of this particular month on the calendar – with its obsession – and even celebration of death, fright, and things of the night? Should responsible parents condone its underlying intent of promoting ‘fear’ in their children – leading to nightmares and unnecessary anxieties? The answer should be obvious to people of ‘faith’, given that these two terms are entirely opposite concepts. Sadly though, feeling scared – even seeking opportunities to become so – is a flawed human tendency, and frequently experienced temptation. Trusting in God’s protection and preferring what is “pure and lovely” over all that is “crude and creepy” does not come naturally to us – but must instead be cultivated through prayer and scripture meditation. Building this strength within ourselves, ideally from a very young age, is absolutely essential for us to prevent later pitfalls that weak character inevitably produces.
Better sooner than later for us to realize that overcoming senseless fears – along with maintaining clean and positive thoughts – is actually critical to our mental well being. Chronic anxiety and even depression can result when we constantly focus on what is destructive or that which worries us about the past, present or future. In the area of physical health, some of us obsessively fear developing cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. We could channel our thoughts more wisely in taking steps toward body detox and immune enhancement to greatly reduce the risks of these and other tragic illnesses. There is also a frequent tendency to forget that our Creator is indeed the ultimate Healer (Rapha) – particularly for those who replace fear with faith in Him to do so.
Through seeking His higher ways, adults and children alike can determine to fully adjust their focus on what is uplifting, biblical, and conducive to a solidly healthier lifestyle. Connecting to the Creator is the key! So during these days ahead when many seem to celebrate what is dark and dreary, may we uniquely shine forth a faith-filled light that encourages others to seek its loving source, the God of all creation, throughout this season of fall – and infinitely beyond !
Faith Fact: “The presence of hope in the invincible sovereignty of God drives out fear.” – John Piper
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