Ready or not, here they come! Once again the yard is slowly being quilted in a patchwork of yellow and red as the trees shed their leaves in obedience to autumn’s call. The John Deere will soon morph into a leaf eater and the drone of leaf blowers will again become familiar background noise.
The change of seasons has arrived and the tulip poplar just beyond my window is thinning. As each leaf floats to the ground, I am witness to a living lesson that brings alive the words of the apostle Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come”! II Corinthians 5:17.
Years ago in a laundry room in Lubbock, Texas, my friend Judy Reed asked me, “Penny, if you died today would you go to heaven?” After some hemming and hawing, I admitted I was not sure. Then, through the gift of faith in a simple yet profound prayer, I was a made a “new creation in Christ” with my name indelibly written in God’s Book of Life. Though there were no physical, outward changes in my being, on the inside, changes were beginning to take place that continue to this day.
Leaves fall from their branches as veins that carry fluids in and out of them gradually close off. As the veins become clogged, a barrier is formed between the old leaf and the branch. The old leaf falls away and leaves behind a protected area where new growth develops.
Through the miraculous process of new life in Christ things I once held so tightly, things which seemed impossible to let go, slowly began to lose their grip on me and fall away. What is most amazing is I, like the trees that lose their leaves, have nothing to do with the process. It happens because of what Christ the Creator did when He gave His life for me. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
The unforgiveable is at last forgiven, envy gives way to contentment and old habits lose their power. Little by little I am changed and my old life gives way to the new. I can LOOK FORWARD without fear while in the midst of unwanted change knowing the God who has given me new life will never leave me or forsake me and will work all things to good in my life.
As the days grow shorter, sunlight diminishes, temperatures drop, leaves change color and fall to the ground, rejoice in the miracle of new life whose fruit will be seen again in the budding leaves of spring.