For God has woven in amber tones
The song of Nature’s Strife,
Autumn glories, and winter’s death,
Must come before new life.
I have often marveled at the beauty of fall in New England. The leaves burst forth in brilliant colors that I can only view as a grand celebration before their death. And die they must. Yet they do not do so without grace-a majestic swirl of golden, crimson and fire orange color dancing in the wind like glorious confetti fit for a king-The King of Kings to be exact. At the right time there is a multicolored array of leaves both in the trees and on the ground, and the sun shines and the sky is clear and full of promise. Then everything living turns brown and the days turn cold and grey and the nights dark and dim. I hope for the whiteness of snow, look to it for release from a dying landscape. Soon after it snows and Christmas has come and gone I find myself anxiously awaiting spring.
Yet autumn is so beautiful I am reminded that death is a celebration. I am not talking here about the death of the human body and the spirit returning to the Lord, though that too could apply. I am talking about the seasons of our lives, how change is inevitable. If we look at the richness of the fall season, we are reminded by an outward sign of an inward truth. Death and loss bring beauty and promise of newness, no matter how difficult. This thought sustains me in this new season.
For despite the beauty of it all, Autumn is a hard season for me to accept. My full-time work hours as summer program teacher are suddenly reduced by 13 hours per week and changed to a split shift schedule of before and after school care. I miss the business and excitement of the summer, and having full time job that is a perfect fit. Complicating things are my long time battle with depression, hormonal imbalances and ADD (inattentive type) which was much more manageable working a more “traditional” routine. The loss of work hours had tempted me to despair, until I remembered my identity is in Jesus, not in what I do or how productive I am or how much money I contribute to my family income. Remembering the lessons of Autumn I am reminded that: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit John 12:24
This struggle is an opportunity to .experience the glorious beauty of death to self. Knowing, if I lay it all down, I may experience pain, but also new life and new birth: Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Amen and amen.