Gratitude Cheers a Melancholy Spirit
Pine needles and dead leaves blanket every inch of the yard. Only a few rebellious weeds successfully fight through the suffocating carpet. A bright, yellow butterfly glides across the autumn landscape. As the butterfly escapes my view, long shadows and sunshine compete for my attention. Today the sunshine wins.
I normally dread the seasonal change from summer to autumn. Weak sunlight and thick shadows intensify my melancholy nature. Today is different. After almost losing a loved one to a severe illness a few months ago, my normal sadness changed to thankfulness and peace. “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7, emphasis mine).
Now, instead of fighting dread, I inhale the cool, crisp air, and give thanks for the low humidity, a rarity in the Deep South. As my gaze shifts back to the changing shadows and sunshine, another butterfly gracefully enters my field of vision. I admire its silent beauty — such a delicate creature, adding bright color to an otherwise drab backdrop.
This species of butterfly only visits our region in the fall. The lovely creature reminds me that “God has made everything beautiful for its own time” (Ecc. 3:11a). My loved one and I are here by God’s grace. No matter the season or bleak circumstances, this is our appointed time to shine for our Creator.
As I turn to join my loved one inside, the Holy Spirit whispers, “This is the day the LORD has made; let’s rejoice and be glad in it . . .
My heart sings, Yes Lord, “For you have made me rejoice, Lord, by what you have done; I will shout for joy at the work of your hands. How magnificent are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!” (Psalm 92:4-5).
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Kathy Garrett McInnis