When I was a kid, one of the events I looked forward to most was the fall of the year when the huge trees in my front yard began to shed their leaves. Getting together some of my neighborhood friends, we would rake those leaves into what seemed like gigantic piles and then run and jump in them over and over again. It was childhood fun in purest form. Later, of course, having to rake leaves in the yard or clean leaves out of the gutter became far less appealing, though still necessary.

We are entering that time of year when leaves fall and temperatures drop. In our climate, it happens about the same time every year. It is as predictable as the sunrise. Weather patterns change; one season slowly fades into the next and, as noted, it happens this way every year throughout our lives. Not many people, however, ever stop to ask a simple question: Why? Why are the seasons so dependable? Why have we witnessed the same changes from winter to spring, from spring to summer, and from summer to fall every year that we have been alive?

Here is where the theology lesson comes into play. The regularity of the seasons is a direct result of God’s creative activity. Psalm 104 is a magnificent declaration of God’s sovereign control over all aspects of creation, including seasons. The benevolence of God toward both man and beast is portrayed in inspiring images as God controls creation and causes it to serve His purposes.

In Gen. 8, we find a statement connecting the redemptive purposes of God to the regularity of the seasons: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (v. 22) This declaration comes as God promises never again to destroy the world by water, as He had done with the great flood. The continuation of the seasons, predictable and dependable, is a testimony to the power, mercy, and purposes of God.

When the seasons change, therefore, and we find ourselves raking leaves, shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, or looking for shade on a hot summer afternoon, we should give thanks to God for our salvation, pictured in that great flood; and we should be encouraged by the thought that no man-made or so-called natural phenomena will destroy this world. It will remain, and season will follow season, until God is finished gathering His redeemed from the four corners of the earth.