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They have no speech and still the leaves teach. In this extra-delicious Wisconsin autumn, I am learning.
3 Lessons From the Leaves
1. What’s in comes out.
As the seasons change, trees get less sunlight and the chlorophyll breaks down. The lack of chlorophyll reveals yellow and orange pigments present in the leaves but masked during warmer months.
I can’t help but think that the fading of life’s sunshine and comforts reveals what’s really in us. Some of the most gracious, kind people I know have had it the hardest. I don’t think that’s a fluke.
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
The color inside is the color that will come out. That’s lesson one.
2. Beauty takes time.
My art IQ is low. My drawing skill might be at a third grade level—unless stick figures are faded by then—and my painting skill never made it off the Mrs. Day’s 5K easel.
But I know a thing about beauty. I know that the hundreds of other times I walked past this stretch it never caught my eye. The leaves were all green, or all brown. But they stole my breath last week.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a).
Beauty takes time. That’s lesson two.
3. We all will fall.
The wind and the rain and the frost and the snow will take these beauties down. Peak season will pass. Burning bushes and brilliant maples will strip down to bare gray branches. It’s only just a matter of time.
It is appointed for man (Hebrews 9:27-28) and for leaf. Sooner or later—some tenacious oaks hold fast till May—we all will fall. My good husband will pull the leaf vacuum and suck the brittle brown up.
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10).
We all will fall, and every knee shall bow. That’s lesson three.
That might sound ominous, Halloweeny, even. But it’s not. Yes, “it has been appointed for man to die once, and after that to face judgment.” But do you know the rest of that sentence?
It is: “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
This is good news. Salvation awaits if you wait for him.
Sing For Joy
Oh, to be clear, the Lord, not the trees, teach. The Word of God speaks. The trees have no voice.
Or do they?
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with his truth.
Psalm 96:12-13 (NLT)
What lesson have you been learning in the leaves? I’d love to hear. Please share in the comments.
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”