Posted by: bellissimanh | October 19, 2009

Of Leaves and Love

October is a beautiful month here in the Northeast. Splashes of color can be found everywhere. It’s as if all of nature is rising together to put on one last spectacular hurrah before heading into a season of slumber. I have always loved the brilliant beauty of Autumn in New England, but never really thought about what causes it. I knew it had something to do with temperatures, but that’s about it. Recently I read an article at www.visitnewengland.com that described what’s behind the dazzling display. Check this out…

 

These color changes are caused by transformations in leaf pigments, primarily the green pigment chlorophyll. During summer, the leaves of trees are producing sugar from carbon dioxide and water by the workings of light and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll causes the leaves to appear green.

 

The shorter days and cool nights of autumn set off changes in the tree. One is the growth of a corky membrane at the base of the leaf stem, which interrupts the flow of nutrients into the leaf. This stops the production of chlorophyll in the leaf, and the green color of the leaf fades, allowing the reds, oranges and yellows to burst forth. The best autumn colors are produced when dry, sunny days are followed by cool, dry nights. 

 

 

So something blocks the chlorophyll getting into the leaves, and then they turn this beautiful color as they’re dying. Interesting, isn’t it? Doesn’t it make you smile to think of a God who created such an intricate process?

Even in death, He brings forth beauty.

Picture with me a lonely hill called Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. The shadow of a cross raised centuries ago stretches across generations, spanning the gap left by sin. Scripture tells us there was no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him (Isaiah 53:2), but oh, how beautiful the love displayed that day. Even in His most anguished moments, He cried out, “Father, forgive them… for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) And as love crucified the Rose of Sharon on that tree, He exclaimed the words that changed history: “It is finished.” My pardon was sealed in His sentence. My life and freedom were secured by His death. And it was ugly… and it was beautiful!

How am I to respond to that?

 

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

“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.” (Gal. 2:20)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Rom. 12:1)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14)

 

Father, You have called me. You have given so much for me. Let me never take lightly the price paid for my redemption. I seek to give You all of myself, here and now. Every part of me… the good, the bad, the ugly. Teach me how to truly live a crucified life, Lord, so Your beauty can shine through. May Your grace in my life be displayed so vividly that it draw others to You with it’s brilliance and loveliness. Just as the leaves of the trees in Autumn, I want to explode with the colors of Your love and mercy. Let me be a vessel showcasing Your majesty to a world that so desperately needs to taste and see that You are SO good! I’m a mess, Lord. I stumble, I fall, and I truly am nothing without You. But more and more You show me that my brokenness is exactly what You seek from me, and that in humility and recognition of my weakness and imperfection in the face of Your utter strength and holiness… that’s where I find the Truth. Thank You for the death that brought so much beauty into my life. Empty me of myself and fill me with Your Spirit, that I might die to self and live for You, my precious King. I love You so.

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. Death brings life. It is the story of our salvation, isn’t it my friend.

    I, too, love autumn. My very favorite season. One of these days I am going to see autumn in the New England states and I cannot wait.

    Leah

  2. How amazing is our God? Except we die, we cannot truly live. Such a mystery it is; yet to die is gain. I am trying to remember this during the day, when things get rough and I know that He is using these opportunities for me to die to self, so that He can live through me. Thanks for the encouraging words:) Love you!

  3. Majestic!.. 🙂


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