by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
I rounded the curve. Long shadows draped across the country road as the autumn sun hung low in the sky. Burnished amber and burgundy leaves punctuated the canopy of branches overhead. My spirit was quiet. Subdued. Weary from a long night of the soul.
My mood surrendered to the dark shadows around me.
From the treetops I heard a bird sing. I looked up, searching for the song that trailed away to the forest’s edge. Pines and hemlocks intermingled their branches creating a dense shield of evergreen. There, on the edge of the forest in the middle of deep greens stood a tree of golden yellow. It was alone except for the evergreens. A shaft of sunlight illuminated the gold, creating a sharp contrast with the deep color of the forest.
I considered the golden tree.
I knew its beauty was due to the preparation to let go – the brilliant yellow celebrating the end of a season. The leaves would soon drift to the ground and slowly lose their brilliance and fade away, becoming nourishment for tender vegetation.
But throughout the winter the tree will still stand. It will stand strong and concentrate on growing deep roots that give it sure footing in a storm and water during droughts.
Yes, it will stand.
And though the tree appears to stand alone, stark and vulnerable to the elements, it’s actually surrounded by the evergreens that will shelter the resting tree during the winter months.
The Body of Christ is like that. When one of our own goes through a season of difficult change, a season of loss, a season of uncertainty where only the roots appear to be getting stronger and the life of the struggling one stands exposed and vulnerable, the Body of Christ steps in to shelter and preserve. Brothers and sisters in the Lord undergird the one who is hurting. Prayers like beams of light burst through heaven’s gates and bring the one who struggles before the throne of grace.
Praise God for the Body of Christ. Praise God for my family and friends who have sheltered me in the storm. My season of letting go is here. The beautiful burst of color is because I know my Redeemer lives and I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. And as I wait for this season to pass, my roots will grow deep and strong and I will rejoice in the shelter of my friends.
Beloved, are you in a season of change? Allow others to shelter you, to pray for you, to strengthen you in the Lord. Ask the Lord to open your eyes that you might see Him there with you. He is in the hug of a friend, the laughter of a child. He is in the golden yellow of the falling leaves.
And He walks on the wings of the wind to get to His child who has called out His name.
building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in
what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the
foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by
stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts
together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by
God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” ~ Ephesians 2:19b-22, MSG
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