Fireworks of colour explode amidst a landscape of green fir tree soldiers. They stand with arms spread wide providing quiet balance without which the bursts of yellow, orange and red would become commonplace. Between the two, a chorus of praise is sung to their Creator from whom their purpose comes.
The change of colour for the oaks, maples and other deciduous trees is actually a result of their death throes before they are severed and drift randomly to the waiting earth below. As the apostle Paul says in Romans, Creation is in bondage to decay until Christ returns.
Just as we are.
They await the renewal of the final resurrection of all the children of God.
But as they wait, cycling through their seasons, groaning inwardly as each year brings them closer to final destruction, they do not wait quietly or without hope. They glorify God with each glorious coloured leaf, each bare, gnarly, snow-covered limb, each bud of new life in spring and their abundance of green in summer. They live out their purpose in obedience to their Creator with great expectation for the time when they will finally be freed.
My question is, have I? Do I?
As I cycle through my years and seasons, am I conscious of my purpose for being here?
Do I acknowledge my duty to honour and glorify the One who created me out of dust?
Do I wait quietly or live in a way that brings glory to my Creator?
And most importantly do I wait in anticipation of future glory?
Like the creation around us, humans groan inwardly as the difficulties of life press in on us. In our souls we know this is not how it was meant to be; death and suffering were not what God wanted for us. However, we turned away from God and so here we are.
But God did not leave us or forsake us. He stands with open arms waiting for us to turn to Him and ask forgiveness, and He gives it freely. Even after we do, we still groan inwardly through this broken world, but we groan with hope and anticipation, just as the rest of creation does.
Death and decay are an inescapable part of this present life we live, but it is not the end of the story. When we become children of God, followers of His Son Jesus Christ, we have the promise of resurrection into the life we were meant to have. And all creation will join us! There will be a new heaven and new earth displayed in their perfect purpose. No more groaning. No more fallen leaves.
In the meantime, I must live as nature does, striving to glorify my Creator with what I have been given, with all my strength, heart, mind and soul. Not alone, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, who gives me His peace to deal with the transition and see beauty in the midst of it.
Dear ones, I want to encourage you also. Don’t stop striving! Even if it doesn’t seem like it, we have a God-given purpose. He can and will use your fallen leaf life in ways you can’t see or imagine. He created you and knows exactly how you work, and think and this is NOT His plan B.
You are dearly loved!