I truly love the fall. I wait with anticipation all year for the crisp air, warm apple cider, the smell of bonfires and the proliferation of all things pumpkin. But my absolute favorite part of the fall is the spectacular array of leaves in their glorious, varied hues.
I recognize that to some the fall makes them think of the end of something, of death and dying. Some see the season of autumn as depressing, but I see just the opposite. The harvest season is the reaping of all things sown in the spring and the culmination of the hard work of the summer soil. The once promising immature seeds of spring have matured and are ready to be harvested for their ultimate purpose.
Dying leaves are merely fulfilling their life cycle – letting go of the former to make way for new growth. As they draw near their final dramatic act, the leaves display the apex of their beauty. This is their testimony, this is the culmination of their existence…and it is spectacular.
We too have a testimony. Isaiah 61, verse 3, speaks about those who have been changed by Jesus – like those who used to mourn but have been comforted, those who traded their ashes for a crown of beauty, and those who have had their mourning turned to dancing. That same verse goes on to say:
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of His splendor. (NIV)
I love the idea that we who have a testimony of God’s faithfulness, grace, and mercy, through Jesus, are like a mighty tree that He planted in order to show off His splendor. Not our splendor, His.
I am about to finish my personal year of jubilee…my 50th year…and I can’t help but think I am entering the early fall of my life. That thought tends to sadden me a bit. It reminds me of the goals I have not yet achieved and the hopes and dreams that will likely never be realized. Yet, I will not live in regret. I will instead look forward to what He has yet in store for me in this season of my life. Afterall, I do love the fall.
Fall reminds us that this earthly life and most of what we toil for and focus on are temporary. Like the summer green gives way to falling amber hues, this too shall pass. Falling leaves are a reminder to hold unswervingly to Jesus, the one who will never fall away.
May God take the remaining years of our lives, however many of them He ordains, and use each one as a canvas to display His glorious splendor and a means of pointing others to Jesus, the One who is so faithful and true. I pray we would all finish well, remaining faithful until the day He calls us home.
So, with each falling leaf you see in the coming weeks, fall for Jesus all over again. He never leaves.
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