Fall has always been my favorite season for multiple reasons. I love the temperature because it’s perfect for bonfires, long strolls, snuggling under a blanket with a good book, and drinking coffee. I love the colors, the warms hues of oranges, yellows, browns, and reds. I love the clothes, layering with vests and scarves, staying warm while looking cute with boots and hats. I love how brightly the stars shine at night.
Today, it was perfect Autumn weather in Kentucky–in the fifties, light rain, gentle breeze. Obviously, I could not resist taking a walk at Sunset. As I was walking I was talking to God and just enjoying the weather. I looked around at all of the leaves falling, all of the beautiful orange and brown covering ground, and I thought about how much I love this season. And then something very odd hit me: My favorite time of the year is actually the year’s death.
When leaves are alive and thriving, they are so beautifully green and lush. It is in death when leaves turn brown and dry. It is in this process of death that I find leaves to be the most beautiful. Strange, right? How can it be that something dead and brittle can be a symbol of such beauty?
Isn’t that just like our walk with God?
There are times when we seem to be thriving, healthy, and beautiful, but the true beauty comes when we are willing to die so that Christ can live. It is painful and frightening to be willing to let Christ take away all that we have ever considered to be our nourishment, in order that we can truly find that He is our life source. It is terrifying when Christ not only empties us of everything we have ever know, but He asks us to leave everything we have known, falling into the unknown of His will. As we fall, breezes come, winds blow, and we are tossed all over the place, just like a leaf, until we land on the ground, exactly where God intended. Every breeze, every step, was part of His ordering, part of His purpose, just to get us here.
At the time it is scary and we can’t find any beauty in the death that we are experiencing, but to those on the outside, there is sheer beauty in watching God transform us. And, when we look back, we will be able to see that beauty in an entirely new light.
Fall is just the beginning of this beautiful death. It is those first beautiful moments of surrender and sacrifice. Once we have surrendered it all to God, allowing Him to empty us and free us from our old ‘branches’ and what we believed to be our sustenance, the most wondrous part of death begins. There, where God has carried us, lying face down on the ground, He covers our dry, dead self with the most beautiful, light, refreshing, white snow. It is in the process of death, the process of drying up and falling to the ground, that God completely washes us in the most glorious, purest white that has ever been experienced.
And, once we have died and been washed in white, it is then that we can look forward to Spring, the time when new life is birthed and can begin to grow stronger and more beautiful than anything we have ever imagined.