Fall’s colorful leaves and crisp, invigorating air are uplifting. The sunlight highlights the brilliant colors of red and gold that fill the trees and carpet the ground. Interestingly, these leaves spend most of their life as lush green foliage, but in the fall they display their true colors. They are telling the world, that the chlorophyll produced green was nice, but this is the real me.
FALL: A SEASON OF BEAUTY AND DEATH
Nevertheless, in the midst of all fall’s beauty, everything is dying. So, why is it picturesque? Why do we feel so alive? Is God saying death is beautiful?
Watching the leaves fall gracefully to their death, reminds me of the grace and beauty of Mom’s last days. Just as I know that each falling leaf takes us closer to the long and cold winter ahead, each labored breath took my mother closer to death.
It was a day in June when my son and I watched life depart from my mother’s body. As death drew closer, her real colors showed through too. Her thoughts were not of this world, but on spiritual matters, and it forced our thoughts to drift from the mundane and focus on the divine. As she prepared to meet her Maker, it was evident what was important.
Weak and unable to open her eyes, she reclined in her favorite chair, her plea was urgent; tell a person in her life that she forgave him. After being reassured, she told us she was going to Jesus and that it was a joyous place. Usually fearful of travel, this trip was a delight.
When I told her to go and that we would catch her later, she smiled and said, “I know you will, and I will be waiting for you.” Typical of my mother, her last words offered comfort and one final life lesson: don’t fear the fall or death. God saves us from the fall and lifts us to a place of beauty. Prepare for a beautiful place and joyful reunion.
EARTH IS OUR HOME NOW AND FOR ETERNITY
At birth, our earthly life begins and God sustains our existence, but eventually, the fall of our life approaches and our bodies begin to shut down. Death returns us to our Creator in the present (intermediate) heaven. Although this is a wonderful place, it’s temporary.
Just like the leaf, our journey begins and ends in the same place – earth. Unlike the leaf, the place where we spend eternity is the restored earth, a beautiful, perfect place, where believers experience the original plan before the fall of man.
Of course, not everyone’s death is peaceful. Prolonged and painful dying experiences are a reality. When we lose a loved one or walk beside a person struggling during their dying days, months, even years, it is easy to see death as dark and scary; but it’s not. While dying can be a difficult time, death is beautiful for believers. It is a release. After all, it ushers us into a perfect life with Jesus.
…“ and the day of death better than the day of birth” (Ecclesiastes 7:1b NIV). Solomon was right. Our first birth brings us into a fallen world where death is the victor, however, the irony is that death leads to a perfect and restored world with no pain or sorrow.
So, let the beauty of this fall season remind us of Paul’s message to the Corinthians: O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting” (1 Corinthians 15:55 NLT)?
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Blessings until next time.