This is one of my all-time favourite quotes and one that I stand to learn a lot from for many years to come;
The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let dead things go ~ Anonymous
Each and every Autumn our senses are in awe of the beauty of the season. The glorious display of russets, ochres and mahogany, the delicious crunching underfoot, the sweet smell of chestnuts shining among the fallen leaves. Such beauty could not be enjoyed if summer lasted forever. Such vivid colours would not be seen if it weren’t for the leaves slowly dying, such treasures would not be found if the cones, conkers and acorns did not fall.
Seasons are beautiful, breathtaking yet seemingly cruel and unnecessary. Why can’t we enjoy the beauty a bit longer? Why can’t we stay in the season a little longer? As lovely as the leaves are, they are already enjoying their swansong, radiant in beauty for their last breath before taking a bow and exiting stage left. Sure, the tree could hold on to them a little longer, but the tree cannot sustain life in something that is already dead. The leaf will simply drain the tree of valuable nutrients and hinder its life-giving abilities.
We cannot sustain life in something that is already dead
In order for new growth, there has to be a season of shedding. The trees cannot flourish, the buds cannot form and the flowers cannot bloom if what was there before did not fall away. Seasons are exactly that; a season. A definitive period of time which will pass and make way for the next. The trees do not worry about the seasons, they do not question whether or not they should hold on to their leaves, or doubt that their dying blooms will be replaced. They simply let go.
My friend, we can learn so much from the trees.
So many of us are holding on to the delicate buds of dreams that never blossomed.
So many of us are clinging to the dying blooms that once decorated our lives, hoping to breathe new life into them.
So many of us are trying to repair broken branches of relationships that cannot be restored.
Why? Because we can’t bear that thought of them being gone. Despite the deadheads and the crumbling leaves and the broken boughs, we simply don’t want to let go. We cannot face the fact that what has gone before is finished and it is time to say goodbye.
Gardeners have no issue with change. They enjoy the fruits of their labour all summer but when Autumn comes they prune their plants vigorously, stripping back the dead material, cutting down the branches. They do this because they know that the plant needs time to rest and recover, and ultimately their actions will result in a stronger, healthier plant.
“…Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you…”
We need to let God, the ultimate gardener get trigger happy with the pruning shears on our lives.
It is difficult to say goodbye to a job you’ve outgrown.
It is not easy to let go of successes that have long lost their shine.
It is hard to admit when a season of your life is over.
It is heartbreaking when a dream isn’t fulfilled.
But we need to trust in the One who breathed the very life into our lungs, the One who flung the stars into space, the One who knows our every thought. We need to trust that He will prune us lovingly and carefully so that we are not damaged in any way. God will allow us the time we need to rest and recover, and He will bring new life again.
You cannot hold what God has for your future if your hands are full of the past
Whether you are in a season of waiting, of receiving, of celebrating or grieving, know that this is but a moment in the eyes of eternity. Great or ghastly, this too shall pass, and suddenly you will find yourself in a new season. God has a plan for your life, but you cannot hold what He has for your future if your hands are full of the past.
It is time to let go and let God, trusting in His timing, His grace and His provision.