EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) — November — falling leaves, shorter days, longer nights, football and Thanksgiving. November is a time of change.
The weather changes, the skies change, the colors change — and sometimes our moods change. We’re happier — pumpkin pie, fireside nights, crisp mornings. We’re sadder — summer over, early sunsets, dying leaves.
November brings expectations of family gatherings, great food and bountiful harvests. But November skies are fickle and we often wonder what winter will bring.
However, God is unchanging and His Word is unfailing — spring, summer, fall and winter.
In the introduction of his book, “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life,” Chuck Swindoll wrote, “Each of the four seasons offers fresh and vital insights for those who take the time to look and to think…. As each three-month segment of every year holds its own mysteries and plays its own melodies, offering sights and smells … so it is in the seasons of life. The Master is neither mute nor careless as He alters our times and changes our seasons.”(1)
Let me suggest some reasons to thank God for November.
1. This is a great month for praising God for our heritage. It begins with “All Saints’ Day,” commemorating prior generations who have handed their faith down to us, and it ends by honoring the Pilgrim forefathers who came to America in search of religious freedom and for the advancement of the Christian faith, as the Mayflower Compact proclaimed it.
2. This is also a month for praising God for the glories of nature –mountains ablaze with colors, leaves crackling underfoot, the harvest moon, the season’s first frost and the birds in migration. All creation shifts gears for the approaching winter.
3. November is harvest time. Before the words autumn and fall came into vogue, everyone referred to these months as “harvest season” or “harvest time,” and it still is, as our grocery stores are full of pumpkins, apples, chestnuts and sweet potatoes.
4. One of the overlooked blessings of November is our collection of hymns about harvest and thanksgiving. Though we should sing these all year long, it’s in November — just before all our Christmas carols — that we usually raise our voices and sing, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” and “Now Thank We All Our God” and “We Gather Together.”
5. November is a time for families: Over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go!
6. This is also the month when we get ready to celebrate our Lord’s coming into the world. Many churches are preparing right now for their Christmas musicals, pageants, nativity plays, children’s programs, cantatas and living nativity scenes. On a personal level, you’re probably making a list of those for whom you’ll be shopping. November allows us to work ahead so that Christmas will be more enjoyable and less exhausting.
7. November is football time in the U.S.! There’s nothing like bundling up with a blanket and cheering for your high school team on Friday night or your college team on Saturday.
8. Most of all, November is a time for remembering God’s faithfulness in the changing seasons of life. Spring, winter, summer and fall, He’s the same. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, our Lord is unchanging, unfailing and unceasing in His watchful care over our lives.
In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear.
And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?
— Anna L. Waring
If we take a thorough look around us, the Lord will point out life’s blessings even under November skies, and I think you’ll find that your cup runneth over.