Hi, this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Autumn Leaves
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) …God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart…
I love to see spring bursting forth. After the short stark winter days, spring is filled with the promise of things to come. Everything is new in the spring. New flowers, new growth, new leaves. Summer is awesome too! The warmth takes hold, and while present, seems as though it will never end. The natural greenness of the outdoors comes into its fullness. The days are as long as they will be all year, and we are able to spend the long hot afternoons cooled by the shade of the deep green leaves of the tree limbs swaying above. Autumn is the anomaly when it comes to the leaves. In the spring and summer the leaves are green as one would expect. Leaves are thought to be for the most part, supposed to be green. Some shade of green are most leaves natural color. In the fall however the beautiful deviation takes place. The leaves turn all manner of colors and then fall away as if bowing facedown to the ground.
This past weekend our family was spending the morning together and having a wonderful time. We were outside, sitting and talking and enjoying sweet pumpkin doughnuts and coffee as we manned a family yard sale in the driveway of our home. As we talked and enjoyed the time together, some of our grandchildren were playing in the front yard running through, and kicking up the leaves that were falling prematurely from our old maple tree. As I sat amidst it all, I watched the falling leaves and thought about how they resembled our walk with the Lord.
In the natural we are who we are. We act as we will. We think we know what is right, we feel secure in being who we are, doing our ‘own’ thing…all the while actually looking like every other person around us. Everyone has their own ‘brand’, but a selfish person living a life that is designed to suit them, ultimately looks like every other selfish person doing selfish things. We think we are making our ‘mark’ on the world but as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, in the end, no matter what our ‘brand’ looked like, no matter what ‘mark’ we made, it all ends up looking the same. Kind of like the summer leaves. When you look closely at them you may see some small differences, but step back just a few feet and they are all described the same way. Green.
Ah, but in the Autumn…it all changes. As the leaves are impacted by the weather their colors morph and they become more and more interesting and beautiful. They are still on the trees in their natural position except now their colors are radiant and amazing! Kind of like what happens to us as people when we are impacted by the incredible love of Jesus. As we consider His awesome vision for our lives, His amazing desire to make us more, and we submit to His Lordship…everything changes. He takes the ordinary condition of selfishness and transforms it into the extraordinary beauty of selflessness. He changes us from the inside out and slowly we begin to resemble Him. In our natural state we can only look one dimensional…sinful. But in our intended state, we are given through the transformational empowerment of Jesus the ability to look like Him…righteous. We become beautiful like the autumn leaves.
Those falling leaves didn’t escape my attention either. As I said earlier, they were falling as if to bow face down on the ground. Philippians 2:9-11 in the New King James Version says; Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Someday, just as every leaf must fall from the tree admitting that Autumn has come, every knee will be compelled to bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord.
Those leaves my grandchildren were finding joy in last weekend had fallen early. None of the leaves yet to fall were bringing them such pleasure…only the ones that had seemingly done so ahead of time as if by their own accord. The impact of that was not lost on me either. I thought of the joy our Lord experiences when we bow to Him with our lives before it is required of us. As I watched those children with smiles on their faces and squeals of delight escaping their lips playing gleefully among the leaves that had seemingly decided to fall early, I knew it was nothing compared to the joy in heaven expressed when each one of us decides to bow to the Lordship of Jesus! Luke 15:10 says as much. In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
What an awesome God we serve! He loves us so much that He desires to remind us of it in everything. Even to this aging Papa as He watches his grandchildren playing in the leaves. Even the simplest things reveal the complexity of His unending love!
So now, expecting to see His great love being showered on you like so many leaves falling from the trees…Go Be Awesome!