Days are becoming shorter, the air cooler, and winter hovers around the corner. Skeins of geese stitch chevron patterns across the blue-washed sky, plaintive honks punctuating their flight. I survey the landscape glowing with a myriad of autumnal colors. In a palette of yellow, orange, russet and ruby, nature shouts a last hurrah before its winter sleep. In my back yard I rake up the fallen leaves, once fresh and green, now dry and brittle. Was it only a few months ago I watched them unfurl on the branch, verdant with spring sap and rustling softly in a warm breeze?
God speaks to me in the changing seasons. Spring heralds new life, summer sees its full blown maturity, fall prepares for rest, then winter sleep descends. I see my own life gradually moving from season to season, each one with its joys and heartaches, its accomplishments and respites. I am in the autumn season now, when the sap runs slower and I’m getting a bit brittle of bone, but I glory in the final burst of color before winter.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25 The Voice)
I am like a tree awaiting winter when the coldness of death will overtake my body. Yet the seed of my soul will be ever green. Within these decaying limbs lives my risen Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life, so I will never truly die. Do I believe this? Absolutely.
If all I had was a burst of color before death, I would be living without hope. But I do not, because I hold the promise of Jesus — ceaseless life with Him. Each passing year the autumn leaves whisper this assurance. “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” – (Col. 3:2-3)
In this season before winter, I want my earthly life to glow like the autumn leaves, heading toward dormancy only in body, but not in spirit. While in the prime of growth, leaves take in and store up nutrients to keep the tree alive through the winter. I am thankful for those things of God stored up within me, resting in the knowledge they will see me through the coming winter, and I will bud and leaf again in a heavenly climate.
“Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.” – (Joel 2:2)