“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

Once again, the yard is slowly being quilted in a patchwork of yellow and red as trees
shed their leaves in obedience to autumn’s beckoning. The John Deere has morphed into a leaf
eater, and the droning of blowers has become familiar background noise.

The tulip poplar just beyond my window is the first to bare its branches. Kites of gold
twirl in the breeze and dance along grassy carpets of green. Others fly to nearby ponds and sail
like yellow ships bound for unknown shores.

The annual season of falling leaves is a tangible teaching, echoing 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.

Leaves release their grip on branches as the life-giving veins that once nourished them
gradually close off. This natural process forms a barrier between the aging leaf and the branch.
Eventually, the old leaf gracefully falls away, leaving behind a sheltered space where new life
can flourish.

Years ago in a modest laundry room in Lubbock, Texas, a friend asked, “If you died
today would you go to heaven?” After some hemming and hawing, I admitted I wasn’t sure.
Then, through the precious gift of faith and a simple yet sincere prayer of belief in the Son of
God, I was reborn and made a new creation in Christ. My name was indelibly written in God’s
Book of Life, securing an eternal future in the presence of God.

In an instant, a miraculous process of spiritual transformation began to take place in my
life. Deep-seated beliefs, fears, yearnings, and habits that seemed unyielding began to reshape.
Gradually, the weight of the unforgivable was at last forgiven. The shackles of envy and
ceaseless worldly pursuits yielded to greater trust in the Lord and His ways. Once-entrenched
destructive habits started losing their grip and allure.

As the days grow shorter, sunlight diminishes, temperatures gently drop and leaves
gracefully descend to the earth, let’s celebrate the abundant opportunities for new life and growth
to flourish.

Heavenly Father, Master Craftsman of nature’s grandeur, help me see in the changing of the
seasons, changes needed to take place in my life. Guide me to embrace fresh avenues of growt and mirror more closely the likeness of Your Son, Jesus.

Penny L. Hunt

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