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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: Leaves

The leaves of fall signal a time of transition, a movement from one season to another.  Each one is a reminder of what is important in life.  If we take the time to appreciate each one as it falls, we will find deeper insights, discover the true beauty of life, and be regenerated for the future.

The earth is a mirror of heaven, where leaves remain green all year round.  But as they fall on the earth, let us take a moment in the falling to grow.

Perhaps the leaf which falls can remind us of how fragile and frail we really are.  There is a plan much bigger than ours, and God stands ready to show it to us.  The plan is about love, faith, how to make a difference in the time while we are still green on the tree.  God protects us in the falling moments and catches us when we reach the ground.

God makes it possible for us to be green our entire life.  We only return to the earth at the end of that brief time.

Jeremiah writes, 

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,  whose confidence is in him.

“They will be like a tree planted by the water... its leaves are always green.”

Maybe another leaf falling can show us that we are the tree, not the leaf after all.  When  the prophet Jeremiah writes about people of faith who are “like trees planted by water… its leaves are always green,” he reframes our thinking.

We are not the lowly leaf when God is involved; we are the strong tree sustained by the water of life and can stand against all struggles and difficulties.  This is great news in a world which can seem remarkably frail at times!

It is Christ in us who makes this possible, not our own minds or opinions or efforts.  The connection to strength, to faith, to heaven itself comes because God is making it possible.  We are just along for the ride.

Another leaf, as it rides on wings of air to the ground, can remind us to leaf through the pages of God’s word, the Bible, to find guidance for this wonderful journey of faith.  There are so many insights there.  Every time we look again, every time we dig a little deeper, we find something more special.

 Martin Luther said, “I study my Bible like I gather apples.  First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest may fall.  Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig.  Then I look under every leaf.  I search the Bible as a whole like shaking the whole tree.”

When was the last time you picked up your Bible?  How carefully did you look, shake, search and pick up the special message God had there for you?  It is there every single day, but we have to take the time and care to look.

A final thought, as the leaves continue to fall this season, is this.  God give us time as a gift.  We have less of it now than when we began reading these words today.

Each moment, each day, each month, each year is a gift from him to do better.  It does not matter what the last time was like.  What matters is how we go forth from here.

An anonymous teacher wrote these words one day:

He came to my desk, with a quivering lip

The lesson was done

Have you a new leaf for me, teacher?

I have spoiled this one.

I took his leaf, all soiled and blotted

And gave him a new one, all unspotted.

Then into his stirred heart I smiled

“Do better now my child.” 

 

I went to the throne with a trembling heart

The year was done.

Have you a new year for me, Father?

I have spoiled this one.

He took my year, all soiled and blotted

And gave me a new one, all unspotted

And into my tired heart He smiled,

“Do better now, my child.” 

What a picture of how God takes the leaves which are our lives and gives them another chance!  A new lesson, a new project, a new planting, a new blessing for someone is always in the works.

If we see each day as a new gift, where the leaf can actually stop falling, reattach itself to the tree, and remain always green, we begin to appreciate what a miracle of God can do.  Reversing in mid-air, in mid-sentence, in mid-action, we become the growing and difference-making Christian God has created us to be. 

Enjoy the falling of the leaves this season.  But always remember the spring that is on the horizon.  God alone “will never leave us or forsake us.”  In fact, Jesus spoke those very words as he got ready to die on the tree for you and me so that we might live forever.