Truth be told, I am no fan of Fall.
I know there are people who love the season, the colors, the chill in the air, Pumpkin Spice, etc., it just does not do it for me. For one major reason: Winter follows Fall.
I really dislike Winter. The snow, the cold, the blizzards, clearing driveways, slow traffic, no traction, on and on it goes. To me Fall is just Winter lite, so I really do not care for it. Funny though that both my birthday and my wedding anniversary are in October! So, I really should look forward to it! But it is always bittersweet.
This year I was traveling out to my wife’s family farm. I was not going to go out on this trip (I have enough to get done and caught up on) but the Lord really challenged me to go this time. It was going to be one of the last nice days for a while (forecaster said I would be the last weekend in the 70’s this year) so I went out with the mindset I was going to try to enjoy one last hurrah of summer-like weather. On the drive out I intentionally looked at the trees and the harvested fields, trying to soak in why people enjoy the season so much. I was reflecting as I drove on a recent conversation I had with a Fall Fan and their question, “what do you see when you look at all the bright fall colors? Don’t they inspire you?” My only comment was, “they look like the colors of dying trees”.
As I was pondering that conversation and the over-the-top morbid attitude it spawned from, I was challenged by the Lord by that very phrase: Fall is indeed the color of death, and isn’t it beautiful? Wow! I then reflected on the recent death of a few family members and a couple close friends. They were believers in Christ and were now home with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:53-55 NRSV
53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
Death is victory! Yes there is loss, yes there is pain, yes there is sorrow. Yet we have hope! We can have joy and peace for our loved ones who are now with Christ!
1 Thessalonians 4:13 NRSV
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
I realized also that there is a beauty in our own death, to self! There is a freedom and a victory in this life when we embrace our own death to sin and self and embrace the new life in Christ!
Galatians 2:19b-21 NRSV
19 … I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Romans 6:3-11 NRSV
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Yes there is indeed a beauty in the colors of Fall! They do indeed show us the colors of death, and they are indeed beautiful because God’s freedom for us in this life and in the next are reflections of God’s grace and mercy and love! Those are beautiful indeed!
Maybe my outlook on Fall can change after all. It is kind of pretty after all.