This morning, I slipped out the front door of our old “farm house” to enjoy the fleeting coolness of the early summer day.
Texas has been my home since I was six years old.
I know from experience that summer isn’t a well-loved season in this state.
Summer typically brings it’s unwanted gifts on the winds of dry heat waves, and occasional droughts that paint our landscape every shade of brown.
But there are other gifts too.
Like the crepe myrtles that dot our family’s two-acre hobby farm.
About the time the Texas heat becomes unbearable in July, these babies burst out with prolific, frilly blooms.
It’s almost as if these trees show off just to remind us: all is not dry and dead, even in Texas.
Even in summer time.
Seasons are like that.
They come and go.
Sometimes they linger on and on, like the relentless heat of a summer that just won’t quit.
Sometimes the changes are good, like hot winds that give way to the refreshing gusts of autumn.
Seasons bring gifts.
Often surprising gifts.
Very often gifts that we could completely miss, unless we choose to notice them.
Here in Texas, people complain a lot about the summer heat.
Almost nobody likes it, and everyone seems to notice when the grass starts turning brown or the foliage becomes dry and brittle.
I wonder just how many people notice the profuse blooms that surprise me every year at this time?
Or how many of us remember that we pretty much only eat watermelon or make homemade ice cream in summer?
Or how often we express appreciation for the farmer’s markets that roll their shingles out for another season, every summer?
Every season offers her gifts.
Every season is worth redeeming, and appreciating.
It’s true: we don’t always have eyes for the gifts of the seasons.
Especially the ones we don’t like so well.
Take seasons of financial strain.
Challenges in ministry.
Stress at home.
No one chooses those seasons.
And yet they come.
Carefully guarding diamonds-in-the-rough, treasures buried beneath tears and struggles and fears.
Gifts to be recognized, discovered and owned.
Gifts that will slip away with the ever-changing-seasons of life.
Unless you and I are wiling to swing open the door and peer out past the heat… and admire the gifts for what they are.
Unassuming joys in the middle of life’s ugly.
The question really isn’t if the unwanted seasons will come.
Because they will.
But, how will we choose to live those seasons?
What are you doing with the season you’re in right now?
Have you recognized the gifts?