by Kelly Wilson Mize
You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to set. Psalm 104:19 NLT
Autumn has arrived, and for this Alabama girl, it’s an exciting time of year! The sweltering weather begins to cool, football season is in full swing, pumpkin-spice-flavored everything suddenly appears (like it or not!), and the excitement of Christmas is just around the corner.
In my lifetime, the tradition of decorating for fall seems to have exploded in popularity. I remember as a child begging my mother to put up the Christmas tree before mid-December. No one I had ever heard of decorated for any other season. But these days, it seems that pumpkins, hay bales, and scarecrows adorn every home and business this time of year. And count me in! Starting in late September, my house becomes a sea of orange, yellow, and burgundy.
A couple of years ago, I found a treasure in a craft store: a bouquet of sparkling leaves in beautiful fall colors–it was love at first sight! I’ll admit the fake, glittery leaves are probably a little tacky, but when I look at them my heart feels happy. They glisten in the sun, brighten up the cloudy days, and illuminate my little autumn world—my home and my mood—as the days get shorter and the world seems darker.
Over the years (as a result of too many trips to the craft store), the sparkly leaf bouquets have multiplied. Each fall I spend hours moving them all around until I find just the right spot, not even minding all the glitter that gets strewn over every inch of my house. The autumn leaves God created aren’t plastic and glittery like the ones I use to decorate, though they do indeed sparkle in the sun, but isn’t it fun to commemorate the changing of seasons?
Every part of the year is incredible in its own way, and the unique qualities of each were precisely calculated. It was God’s perfect plan for trees to sprout green leaves in the spring and transform into vivid colors in the fall. But ultimately
, the lovely colors fade, and the leaves fall to the ground and die. And that seems like the end. But did you know those dead brown leaves serve a vital purpose? When leaves fall to the ground, they eventually decompose, providing nutrients for the soil. What seems like their demise is actually the beginning of new life! The dead leaves form a layer that helps the ground absorb water and allows plant growth in the spring.
How beautiful it is when God’s creation illustrates important spiritual concepts for us! All life has meaning, and death is not the end.
Psalm 104 paints a beautiful picture of nature as evidence of the presence of God: plants and animals, light and darkness, life and death–all subject to His authority. With meticulous care, He orchestrated the workings of our entire universe: days, nights, seasons, years, and all eternity. Isn’t there tremendous security in knowing that our God is a God of order and consistency, and that He alone remains always in control?
In these troubling, sometimes heart-wrenching times, when we have no idea what new disease or disaster could be around the next corner, we can truly depend only on Him! The sun will rise and set each day; winter, spring, summer, and fall will come and go, just as He planned. We can praise God for His steady hand upon His marvelous handiwork –and for the way He lovingly cares for each element of His creation—you and I included! His power and creativity are awe
–inspiring, unlike anything man-made could ever be. And so much better than my beloved plastic leaves.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Kelly Wilson Mize is a wife, mother of two young adults, and former educator with a master’s degree in education. In 20 years as a published author, she has composed numerous articles, interviews, curriculum projects, and devotions, and has contributed to eight traditionally published books. Credits include Lifeway, Bethany House, Guideposts, (in)courage, and others. Kelly’s first full-length publication, a picture book for all ages called The Beautiful Story Within Me is available now wherever books are sold!
Join the conversation: What do you learn about God through nature?