Written by Alice Knighten
I love working outside in the yard and garden. Digging in the dirt and pulling weeds is something that brings me a lot of joy. In early March, with coat and gloves on, I was doing some pre-spring cleaning outside. The sun was shining, the sky was a cool blue, and I gazed around to look at the winter beauty God created.
Most all of the hardwood trees were completely barren of leaves, but there was a tree with brown leaves still left all over it, even through cold winds, rain and some snow of winter. I stood there and thought, “Why is that? Why are there leaves on that tree?” I know that same tree is full of green leaves in the summer so I couldn’t understand how the brown, basically dead leaves, could still be hanging there, as if they are comfortably hanging on permanently?
Now I know there are probably horticulturalists that can give reasons for the leaves being there. But, as I stopped to think about how odd it appeared for the tree to keep dead leaves for so long, I began to ponder something about my own life…how I tend to hang onto the dead weight in my life and how at other times I have become almost comfortable with the sin in my life. Why is that? This verse from Romans came to my mind I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15, NIV1984)
Just like a don’t understand why the tree in my yard keeps its dead leaves in the winter, I also don’t understand why I just can’t stop doing what I don’t want to do. But… just like the tree eventually drops those leaves and grows new green ones, I, too, while spending time with the Lord and growing in my relationship with Him will drop my “dead leaves” or things I do that I know I shouldn’t and begin to do more of the things that please God…ultimately bringing new life for me.
Isn’t that refreshing to know the more time I spend with the Lord the more “dead leaves” I will be able to drop?
Thank you God for the grace and mercy you give to me.