The Fall

I opened the carefully sealed box to reveal a simple but beautiful creation: a necklace formed of leaves, painted in gold and ivory. As I fastened the clasp I wondered to myself: "What meaning could this necklace have in my life?"

Last year this task was so apparent: as soon as I got the piece of jewellery from my Big Sister I knew exactly what it meant to me, but this time... there was nothing. I wore it a little longer and looked at it in the mirror and wondered if I was touched by the small sacrifice of my current Big Sister for parting with one of her possessions... Yes I was. But that wasn't it. Did I think that it was more beautiful on my neck than off..? Yes I did. But that wasn't it either.

It was only when I wore it a little longer and went about doing my daily tasks, that this song came to me and His Message was so clear:

"And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what’s to come
You are autumn"

As the leaves stop producing chlorophyll, waste accumulates and their once enviable colour is unmasked into a deep, rusty brown. After some time, the leaf becomes weak, it struggles and eventually it is severed from the branch and falls to the ground. To compensate for this loss and to protect itself from fungal infections and insects, the branch seals itself off.

As I looked at my necklace, I wondered why a tree would go through such a difficult and tedious process to shed its once so efficient counterpart...only to find out that not all trees have to.

There are two types of leaf: those that are tender and vulnerable and those that are strong and tough. In the summer both stand brilliantly in the sunshine and both work efficiently to supply energy. However, when the seasons change and the dark of the night draws nearer, trees with fragile leaves have to shed them, as they are just too weak to survive the impending winter and feeding those leaves would drain all the trees’ resources. As circumstances change, the weak leaves’ true colours are revealed and their purpose becomes dormant. The waste that they have accumulated is exposed but they hold onto the branch, until they are cut off completely. However, trees with leaves that have ‘toughened up’ and adapted themselves to unfavourable circumstances remain. They are a beacon of splendour throughout some of the harshest winters and bitterness of the cold – resisting to be damaged by external elements.

Isn't this comparable to people that were once part of the Body of Christ?

Some were even efficient, productive and bearing much fruit but as seasons changed and time passed by, they fell – just like the leaves of a withering tree in autumn. They fell like they never existed; as though they never had a purpose. They fell because their existence was more toxic than useful. They fell to protect the whole Body from dying.

How many times have we been productive for a season but unveiled ugliness in moments of tribulation?

How many times have we allowed bitterness to build up when there seemed to be more darkness than light?

As soon as we lose the ability to absorb God’s Light (His Word) - in all conditions - coupled with our God given gift of faith, we also become like the weak leaves of a tree: dry, dull and sometimes so full of waste that we have to be cut off. Appearance may be a camouflage for a season and weakness may be hidden by circumstances but they can never stand the test of time and trial.

As I looked at the necklace through the eyes of this Message, I knew that God had left me a clear example through his creation. I wondered what type of leaf I was.

What type of leaf have you been? Weak or strong?

And if you have fallen already there is always a new season with God: a rebirth. Your spring is just round the corner. :-)

Jeremiah 17:7,8 But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

The video for the rest of the song is here: Every Season

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