Entering into new seasons often sparks a time of reflection and change. We change our clothing, our home décor, chosen activities and food preferences. As we head further into autumn, we swap salads for soup, wrap up warm and watch the leaves change colour.
Red, orange and yellow-leaved trees not only offer a great photo opportunity but they also symbolise a season of change. The beauty we see is a period of self-preservation for the tree. It’s going through a series of processes to prepare for unfavourable conditions to remain sturdy in them. It’s a period of transformation in order to withstand the season, ready for renewal in the next.
Three things that trees do to prepare for winter:
1. They grow strong roots
During their prime time of growth, they form roots deep into the soil. In spring and summer, trees grow roots to take in water and nutrients from the soil in order to grow. The roots also form an anchor for the tree to provide stability.
In good seasons, we should be rooting in Jesus, taking in the nourishment from His word. Those roots mean that in more difficult seasons we are anchored in him. As an anchor prevents a ship from being swept away in the wind and waves, Jesus is our strength and security who keeps us steady in the tides of life. ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.’ (Hebrews 6:19).
2. They slow down
Their metabolic process slows down in order to conserve energy. When we take time to stop and listen to God, we can be restored and refreshed. By slowing down, we allow time for God to speak to us and change us. We gain nothing by expelling our time, energy or emotions on superfluous things that God has already sorted. Exodus 14:14 says that ‘the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’
3. They strip away the excess to protect the heart
In order to preserve the core of the tree, they lose their leaves. Leaves are good for a season. In the spring and summer they photosynthesise to provide energy for the tree but in the winter, they’re more likely to be damaged by the cold and use up vital energy. Therefore to protect the body of the tree, the leaves are lost. In order to be renewed, we have to strip away the unnecessary things we have held on to from the previous season.
Ecclesiastes 3 says ‘there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.’
Spring cleans aren’t just for the spring. Let go of the things that you don’t need to carry in the next season. Use your energy to protect your heart, be still in His presence and anchor yourself in Jesus.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.