Beautiful Death

Autumn.  I always kind of liked the colors that came with the season, but I never knew it could be so amazing until I moved to this little corner of God’s creation.  Eastern Canada puts on a show that can take your breath away.  Explosions of color erupt from the forests of the Canadian Shield.  A look out a window at the back of our home reveals fiery reds, blazing oranges, deep purples and a dozen shades of yellow to rival any fireworks display.  We’ve lived here for just over three years now, but I don’t think three decades would be long enough to dull the sense of awe that comes with the eye-candy that surrounds us at this time of year.

A couple weeks ago we got a newsletter / flyer in the mail from a local landscaping company, and in it was an article talking about what causes the leaves to change from green to their rainbow of colors.  The green color in the leaves comes from chlorophyll (I think I remember that from grade 10 biology) which is regulated by sunlight.  Leaves take in sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and chlorophyll to make food (glucose) for the tree.  When autumn rolls around and the daylight hours lessen, the real colors of the tree become visible as the relative strength of the chlorophyll is diluted by the sap rising and falling in the trees.  It is at this time of year that the trees actually show their true colors.

Life is full of seasons.  I could describe my entire life by using comparisons to spring, summer, fall and winter.  Like most people, I much prefer and enjoy my life when I’m experiencing the hopefulness of spring or the abundance of summer.  But just like life in Canada, I’m sure I have spent half of my days (at least) living in autumn and winter.

I don’t like seeing times of abundance come to an end.  I find very little pleasure in going through seasons of loss.  I’m not a big fan of seeing momentum end or dreams die.  But I have learned that even in these times – perhaps especially in these times – I can trust my God.  I still prefer spring seasons in my life, but the irony is that autumn holds just as much potential.  It is in these very seasons of ‘dying’ that I have the greatest opportunity to bring glory to Jesus.  As the abundance of sunlight fades from view, my life can cry out with worship to my Lord in a passionate display of trust; and people will notice.

Have you ever met someone like that?  Someone who has faced unbearable loss and yet through the pain displays a beauty that stuns?  Parents who have lost a child while clinging to the goodness of God.  A man who has lost his job and his dignity chooses to trust like he has never trusted before.  A woman facing a hopeless medical situation spends her diminished energy voicing praise.  People like that stir me.  People like that are beautiful.

What colors do I display when I face a season of death in my life?  As the light fades, does my life cry out in beautiful praise or do I just shrivel up and drop my leaves in disgust?  I may not be able to control the seasons that I face in life, but I can decide how I will face them.  Even as the darkness surrounds me, the life-giving sap of the Father flows strong in my veins.  When all around me is falling, God is committed to performing a deep work in me.  If I will stop clinging to yesterday’s season, I can embrace God’s purpose in today’s reality and watch Him perform a transformation in my life.

Beautiful death.  It’s in my DNA.



Posted On
Oct 08, 2011
Posted By
albert ziemer

hello Tim! yes that is my email and high school nickname (aziph) I just want to bless and encourage you to keep your spiritual eyes open and keep applying fingers to keyboard. You, like my wife, have a special way of conveying experience thru the written word, and those are the people that Holy Spirit chose to write the scriptures! I am from BC but we have had the pleasure of fellowshipping with your church family! we are especially close to Jean Claude et Valerie also Alain Caron and Jocelyn Galipeau. God bless you for being obedient to the promptings of Holy Spirit!

Posted On
Oct 20, 2011
Posted By

Wow Tim! That was eloquently spoken. I love this post!! I believe we have mutual friends. You may know Garth and Myrna Knapp? They used to be my pastors in Victoria many years ago. Garth married my husband and I. When I get a chance I’ll be back to read some more. Blessings!

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