“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” -Luke 9:24
As one grandkid said, “Look Grandpa, all the trees are dying- their leaves are falling off.” Grandpa replied, “You’re right, all the leaves are falling off. That’s what they do in the fall. But the tree isn’t dead. It’s doing just fine. It’ll be back, alive and well, in the spring.”
I love the fall season. Jeanie and I never really experienced the beauty of autumn growing up. The trees of Texas and Louisiana don’t show their color as well. But the Ozarks are beautiful and amazing in the fall. And even though I’m partially color blind and can’t experience the total brilliance of fall, I do see the beauty in the Ozarks.
How ironic: trees and foliage going dormant can be such a beautiful thing. But it truly is the irony of life in this beautiful illustration called Autumn. Really, all the seasons are a God-given illustration of God at work. The message of the fall is “a season of falling but rising.” Scientists remind us that winter is a certainty that all vegetation in the temperate zones must face each year. Perennial plants, including trees, must have some sort of protection to survive freezing temperatures and other harsh wintertime influences. Stems, twigs, and buds are equipped to survive extreme cold so that they can reawaken when spring heralds the start of another growing season. Tender leaf tissues, however, would freeze in winter, so plants must either toughen up and protect their leaves or dispose of them.
The main characteristic of fall is a loss of foliage. Put simply: leaves are falling off. Trees are not dying (though trees do die) but are going, as the horticulturists tell us, dormant. Dormant does not equal dead. It might look and feel like death, but there is still life.
Winter is a certainty and so are trials and difficulties in our lives. In us, fall shows up when our lives go through the seasons of loss or trial or difficulty. Sometimes we do lose most of our leaves and color. We wonder “What is the purpose of it all?” We question the future, and we grieve over the loss. Joy and hope tend to disappear during these particular seasons. It’s so easy to lose the joy of the Lord when our circumstances are cold, windy and dormant.
But God is alive and well! He uses every season for His purposes. Yes, spring and summer are so nice! Warmth and growth and sunshine are so attractive. But every season serves a purpose.
Someone said, “Fall is truly a celebration of death.” Nothing is dying but it can appear so. May we let this agricultural “timeout” have its way in the quiet and rest and peace.
Yes, celebrate the beauty of spring but embrace the beauty of fall as well. Let God have His way in the humility and brokenness. James 1:9, “Let the brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position.” “High position”? What? What is high about feeling low? Humility is when I realize my place with God. When He is at the source, all is well. As a matter of fact, it can’t get any better!
May we rejoice as we rise above our circumstances and rest in His peace and strength.
Enjoy the beauty of the fall…
As we rise in the beauty of Christ!
By Eric Joseph Staples ©
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