Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn Leaves

I want to be like Autumn Leaves!  Why?  Well, I did a little research about fall leaves and here's what I dug up.
To have the most vivid, colorful, vibrant fall leaves several things have to occur:

• Have to have the darkness (shorter days, less sun) for the leaves to change, otherwise they would continue to produce chlorophyll and stay green.
• Have to have consistent rain also because if there’s not enough rain the colors aren’t as vibrant & vivid

And did you know:

• Those fallen leaves aren’t wasted, when they fall to the ground they decompose & restock the soil with vital nutrients. The trees need those nutrients to burst open with new growth in the spring.
• In fact, the fallen leaves become food for many soil organisms vital to the whole forest ecosystem. So the fallen leaves help the entire forest not just the single tree they fall from.

So that made me think about our spiritual autumn.....

In order for us to have the most vivid, colorful and vibrant lives, shining for Jesus:

• We have to have times of darkness(sadness, fear, hurt, disappointment) for us to change too; times of deep despair or struggle is typically when we lean into the grace of God more than ever (I’m not just talking about big tragedy either, sometimes simple everyday life is a struggle that requires us cling tightly to God)
• Our lives must have consistent times of rain(trials, mess-ups, mistakes) for us to shine bright the light of God’s grace, mercy and hope.

And did you know:

• Our fallen leaves (our hurts, disappointments, tragedies) aren’t wasted either. When we take time to remember all that God has carried us through or done for us, it restocks our personal faith levels with vital nutrients that we need to help our faith grow to new levels.

• And, when we share our fallen leaves (our stories) of God’s faithfulness with others, it helps our whole forest! We share our stories and others come to know Jesus in a more real, relevant and personal way.

I know that we all eagerly anticipate the coming of fall and it may be hard to contemplate “eagerly anticipating” difficulties or struggles in our lives. However, I pray that we all can accept it and appreciate its value for our own spiritual autumn. Knowing that God is using all things to mold, shape and color our lives to richly shine bright for His glory. The fall color we see outside right now is irresistible to us, we long to see its beauty every year. I pray that our lives would be so full of color, Jesus color, that it’s irresistible to everyone around us. And they long to know the reason, the One, who gives our lives such beauty.

And one last little leaf fact, did you know all the colors, the reds, oranges, yellows etc. were in the leaf to begin with? It’s just that during the long sunny days of summer the chlorophyll production is so high that the green over takes all the other colors. So, just in case you wondering if you could ever have a life that is bright and colorful for God, don’t wonder…your colors are in there! God has put your special and unique colors inside of you already, so go shine for him!

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15, verses 5 & 7-8