The woods around the lake out my back door have all but lost their colorful leaves of yellow, red, and orange far too soon for me.  God does some of His best portraits in the fall as the green leaves slowly morph into the shades of fall. And, oh, the sunsets! This is my first fall to experience in the house we are in now.  My view has been gorgeous for the past several weeks. Many photographs have been taken in attempt to capture the beauty. I dare say that photos do not do the scene justice.
    However, just as God ushers in fall and the beauty it brings, in time He sends the winds that softly, slowly blow the leaves to the ground for the trees to enjoy a wintertime rest. What is left behind is not my favorite view of things.  All seems so barren and, well, brown. Not my favorite color!
    With the trees void of their leaves, I have noticed a house up on a hill to the right of ours that I had hardly even known was there.  Without the leaves for cover, it is clearly visible for the first time since we’ve moved in. The house is beautiful with the twinkle of Christmas lights already shining in the night.
     Seems the trees now have to survive a season of just being, I guess you could say, naked and nothing special.  They cannot offer the beauty of colorful leaves or shade from a hot summer sun.  They are just there waiting to be reawakened in springtime. In the meantime, we almost forget their potential for beauty as the long winter months drag on.
     Now, bear with me for just a moment.  Pretend you are a tree yourself.  How would you describe the phase you are in? Are you full of fresh green leaves, heralding in a new season of life, optimistic about what lies around the corner.  Are you excited to see what God has for you there? Are your leaves the color of fall, so vivid with a testimony of the color and beauty that God has brought into your life? Or  do you find yourself in the bareness of winter, cold and discouraged in your walk with the Lord, forgetting your own potential for beauty.
     Time for perspective!  Winter with all the coldness it brings always, always changes into the glory of spring.  Just as sure as that happens, your relationship with God can make that transformation.  You do not have to stay trapped where there is no beauty and warmth.  With God’s help you can leave that season in life, with all it’s pain, shame, and disappointment behind you.  You can step forward in a relationship with God, and see your life flourish again.  The barren, apparently dead branches you carry will become beautiful, fruitful, and a source of shade and comfort for others. There you will feel alive again. Alive in God and in your relationship with Him.
     Just because we are in the fall moving toward winter, your heart does not have to be trapped there.  There is freedom.  There is beauty and color and life.  You have the potential, and promise for all of this. Go with God and live it. He has a plan for you! Blessings! To God be the Glory!


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