Mesmerized by the fading afternoon sun peeking in and out of the leaves above my head, my peaceful time in the garden delighted me, as autumn reveals God’s beauty. Though but a faint breeze, its gentle caress accompanied each falling leaf to its earth bound rest.
Each leaf, as if the only one of its kind; gayly dancing on the breeze, showcases His beauty in dainty pirouettes descending from the heights, softly resting at my feet like so many love letters from heaven.
Welcome back to the garden for a time of Garden Grace, where we allow God to reveal Himself through His creation. Once a month we linger together gleaning all He has for us through the beauty of plants, trees, animals and insects. I can’t wait to share my most recent discovery with you!
the beauty of change
The arrival of autumn captivates us with the beauty of change, yet many, if not most of us resist change in any form. Yet, year after year, marvelling at the magic of autumn’s vivid canvas of color, we applaud creation’s wardrobe change.
Steeping in autumn’s scents, sounds and extravangance, I wondered, if autumn reveals God’s beauty, and change personifies autumn, perhaps God desires to showcase the beauty of change each autumn.
While some changes invite you into desired new beginnings or a fresh new experience, other changes bring overwhelm, even sadness. But as I pondered both desired and unwelcome changes in my life, they equally yielded the beauty of transformation. In one case, the transformation of stale, uninspired routines, the other transformation of character.
Like the autumn leaves surrounding me, the beauty emerges from the core of the change. In the same way, God’s beauty radiates through changes He creates in my life.
the beauty of release
Watching each leaf drift gently down around me, I marveled at the ease with which they let go. No struggle, no lingering; at just the right time, they release and elegantly drift to the ground. Contemplating the wisdom in the trees sacrifice of their leaves provides another way autumn reveals God’s beauty.
Broad leaf trees must shed their leaves before the harsh winter weather or they risk damage or even death. Shedding their leaves also contributes to the ecosystem of the tree, as decomposing leaves nourish the soil for the tree’s health.
The beauty of release for the trees also applies to my own life. As physical clutter causes anxiety, emotional and spiritual clutter causes heaviness which impedes intimacy with God.
Clinging to old ways of doing things no longer serving you hinders the spiritual growth God desires for you. Refusing to remove poor habits or rigidly holding onto old memories with hope of recreating a past life keeps you from embracing the life you have.
Autumn teaches you to trust God while releasing the past, poor behaviors and expectations, allowing God to nourish new growth in you.
The beauty of dying to self
The exquisite array of autumn color so captivating and delighting to our senses, emanates from the farewell soliloquy of each tree in turn. The leaves show forth their greatest beauty in death. The chlorophyll kept rich greens, now burst forth in crimson, gold and deep orange as the life of each leaf shuts down in preparation of winter’s deep sleep.
The mesmerizing beauty of death depicted in the autumn trees mingles inner magnificence only visible in death, with sadness covered in the promise of rebirth.
The intrinsic beauty of each leaf emerges only through death. Continuing my wonderment gazing upon the falling leaves in my garden, my thoughts turned towards the sacrificial nature of the leaves’ death. They give their lives that the life of the tree might be preserved during the harsh season of winter.
A more beautiful picture of death preserving life exists no where outside of Christ’s sacrificial death on the Cross. His life given, preserving my life from death.
Yet, a further lesson as autumn reveals God’s beauty, emerges in my embracing death to self, death to my way, my will and my expectations. Jesus said in John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” He of course spoke initially about His own death and the fruit of believers as a result. But in John 12:25-26, He applies it to all who seek to follow Him.
Like the beauty of the autumn leaves at my feet, When I choose dying to self, and living for God, I not only bear much fruit, but the beauty of Jesus Christ radiates outward to others.
autumn reveals god’s beauty
Warm sun caressing my back, I glanced down at the earthy crimson, amber and sepia treasures in my hands. The smooth, thick surface of the hickory leaves combined with the almost ethereal delicacy of the maple leaves, pulled me deeper into God’s Presence.
Closing my eyes, the gentle breeze tossling my hair, I breathed deep the autumn fragrance, held the leaves to my heart and rested in the moment, grateful for all the Creator spoke in our garden encounter.
May this autumn reveal God’s beauty as you embrace His beauty in change, release and death to self. May the beauty of the Lord be upon you and the work of His hands established in your life.
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