Give Up

I love snow.

I realize it’s a risk, saying those words in February. If you’re one of those people who think snow has no business falling after it’s done its duty by providing you with a white Christmas, I apologize.

But since I love snow . . .

There’s nothing like venturing into a wintry forest, seeing the blankets of snow heaped on the glistening evergreen branches overhead. Or strolling across a bridge downtown, the usual bustle of the city softened by the newly fallen snow that renders footsteps silent.

Unfortunately, before snow, there’s November. The wonder of October, with its red-and-gold fall splendor, gives way to brownish-grayish gloom. The trees have released their glorious leaves.

But maybe that’s the point.

A wise woman once told me that she’d pestered God for direction in her life, but the heavens remained silent. Finally she went ahead and gave up. (Gasp!) It seems we’re told from the time we’re kids to never give up. As Thomas Edison famously stated, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Yet this woman gave up. Like the trees that relinquished their leaves in the fall, she relinquished whatever elusive heart’s desire she’d been pursuing. And that’s when God answered her. That’s when she found the direction she’d been looking for.

I don’t think she was undermining the value of working hard to make dreams realities. But for her, the change came when she emotionally let go and surrendered to God’s plan, even if it didn’t match her own.

Here’s the amazing thing about God: His plan often unfolds amid twists and turns, setbacks and seeming dead-ends, making way for possibilities we’d never have imagined. As it says in Isaiah 61, He gives us beauty for ashes.

He does it every year. Once the October trees release their leaves, we must brave November . . . and then comes the snow.

4 thoughts on “Give Up”

  1. But, Rebecca, I LOVE November!
    Love the muted landscape.
    Love the chilly air.
    Love the early twilight.
    Love the leafless trees.
    Scots poet, Matthew Arnold’s poem speaks to my November heart!
    (first lines of Rugby Chapel, written November 1857)
    “Coldly, sadly descends
    The autumn-evening. The field
    Strewn with its dank yellow drifts
    Of wither’d leaves, and the elms,
    Fade into dimness apace,
    Silent;–hardly a shout
    From a few boys late at their play!”

    It goes on, but I’ll spare you…
    Yes, I LOVE November,
    But then I’ve always been a bit strange!

  2. I love all seasons, although I have to venture outside South Alabama to enjoy the vibrant leaves or mounds of snow. But the emerald waters and white sands on the Gulf Coast remain breathtaking all year long. God sure knew how to make a beautiful world, didn’t He?

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