One of the most beautiful displays of God’s creation is His colorful handiwork at this time of the year. With red, violet, yellow, orange, and a mixture of shades in between, our Lord demonstrates His artwork for all to see and enjoy. There is a soothing and quieting effect on the soul when you gaze upon something that is beyond you. We love to be halted in life, mesmerized over something that is beyond our understanding, to stand in awe, even if we don’t fully comprehend what is taking place. Ignorance of how the sun shines without burning itself up has never prevented us from sitting silently in the evening, delighting in a sunset that captures our full attention.
And our ignorance, or knowledge of what is scientifically causing a leaf to change from green to yellow and orange has never been reason enough to overshadow our amazement. There is mystery in God’s ways. Paul boldly asks, “for who has known the mind of the Lord?” And Job admits that there are “things to wonderful for me.” Yet, somehow, this is exactly what draws us to the Lord, for who wants to worship a little, unappealing, simplistic, unattractive and boring God? It is not the setting
sun nor the changing leaf that we worship, but the incredibly, incomprehensible God that created all things for His Glory and our enjoyment.
Have you ever wondered what is so beautiful about a dying leaf? Who has ever said, “we’re going on a drive this weekend up to Wisconsin and watch the leaves die!” Isn’t it strange that it is in the dying process when the leaf is most adored? The chemical change, causing it to reveal dazzling colors takes place in its final phase of life – what a paradox! But think with me about the cross and about your life for a moment.
God has so ordained that in death He would be adored and glorified. This does not mean that death is adoring or glamorous, but that it is God’s mercy and His holiness that is displayed in sacrifice that is adoring and magnificent. As God’s children we cannot deny the beauty of the Cross of Christ. Reading the scriptures and contemplation about the death of Jesus leads us to conclude that the cross is the most attractive and compelling displays of God’s handiwork, forever bringing glory to God as we gaze upon his beauty (Psalm 27:4; Philippians 2:8-9; Ephesians 2:7).
What about your life? Is it beautiful?
It is if you are dying, that is, dying to sin which means becoming more like Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). Although we do not fully understand, and for that matter, we
don’t have to, but God has so ordained that giving up one’s life is the most appealing and pleasurable aspect of living.
O Beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ, help me to live in such a way that others will see the beauty in dying for the Lord. Only a holy and merciful God could have planned such a paradox: new and beautiful life from death. I will trust you again today for my next phase of dying to pride, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, lust, envy, discontentment, greed – all these and more you have already conquered in your death for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.