Autumn is here, another changing of the seasons
This time of year is perhaps my favorite. People are back from the summer activities, we settle in to a routine, school is in full swing, and the weather begins to cool. The transition of one season to another reminds us that God has ordered the creation to change.
The animals know it’s time for change
In Jeremiah 8:7, the LORD says, “Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.” Animals, and especially birds, know when the season changes too. They know they must react by changing as well. Squirrels scurry to store supplies. Bears bear the brunt of the cold by eating more and storing fat. Fowl flock to find food for the winter. Animals see the signs, and they change.
People often refuse to change
People are more stubborn than animals. We see signs that we need to change, but refuse to. In the same verse (Jer. 8:7), the LORD then says, “But My people do not know the ordinance of the LORD.” In other words, the birds know how to migrate, but His people don’t know to change when they need to. The animals get it, but we miss it. What is this change that the LORD is referring to?
Repentance is the change God seeks
The LORD is referring to a spiritual change. God does not seek for us to turn over a new leaf. He does not want us to resolve to have a new lease on life. He calls for repentance—a change in direction. In the previous verse (Jer. 8:6), the LORD says,
I have listened and heard, they have spoken what is not right;
No man repented of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his course, like a horse charging into battle.
Repentance is not something that believers do once; it is continual. One who is trusting in Christ will be continually repenting because God will be revealing more and more of his or her sinful actions and attitudes. When these are revealed a believer will humbly repent and change, much like a flock of geese migrate when the temperature begins to drop.
As autumn comes upon us and the cool wind begins to blow, let this be a time we respond to the gentle blowing of the Holy Spirit by changing—repenting—so that we may find sustenance and life in Christ.