As the leaves change, fall brings forth lessons for all of us. I don't know about you, but my favorite season is fall. The beautiful colors and the crisp air. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches with a cup of apple cider, is my kind of day. Colors of vibrant green leaves turn to reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. But why do they change that way?
Why Trees Change
Trees that are deciduous change color, where as evergreens (coniferous), do not in the fall. Most of the year, these leaves are green because of the chlorophyll they use to absorb energy from sunlight during photosynthesis. The leaves convert the energy into sugars to feed the tree. As the season changes, temperatures drop and days get shorter. Trees get less direct sunlight, and the chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down. The lack of chlorophyll reveals yellow and orange pigments that were already in the leaves but hidden during the warmer months. Darker red leaves are the result of a chemical change: Sugars that can get trapped in the leaves produce new pigments (called anthocyanins) that weren’t part of the leaf in the growing season. Some trees, like oaks and dogwoods, are likely to produce red leaves.
Once the leaves fall, trees start building a protective seal between leaves and their branches as the weather turns. They take in as many nutrients as possible from the leaves, but leaves wouldn’t survive the winter and would make trees vulnerable to damage if they remained. When the leaves are cut off from the fluid in the branches, they separate and drop to the ground.
Fall season: Our spiritual life
When it comes to discovering why trees change and leaves fall, there is much to relate to in our life with the season change of fall. We are like a tree, growing, bearing fruit, and stretching out our branches. We all go through spring, summer, fall, and winter. Sometimes it's in a different order or we may be in a particular season for longer. We all are about to enter into another season after fall, that will seem to contradict everything that has happened to us so far. What we are about to go through will not make any sense to us until summer season comes again. At that time, we will see the benefits of bigger and better fruit in our life or ministry because of what happened during the fall and winter season.
You as the tree, enter the fall season, the winds begin to blow a little harder, and the temperature begins to drop. As a tree, you have given away all of your fruit and you might not understand why God has not replenished all the lovely produce you have given away. You may have some self-evaluation or even feel empty. As the cold winds begin to blow, your leaves change color and begin to fall off! Your heart begins to cry out, "Oh no, this is the only thing I have left to display!" But it is to no avail because very soon all your leaves are on the ground and you are standing there with bare, naked branches. Things may look awful, but when you adjust your attitude and look at the remaining positives, you will see strength. Be thankful you are still in the orchard or forest, that you have your branches, and that you still get to see the sun. This season won't last forever. The sap of your strength begins to leave your branches and it begins to return to the trunk of the tree and roots. You just don't seem to have the energy that you once had because, like the tree, you are entering a stage of dormancy (winter).
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven"
When I look at a tree in the fall, I'm reminded of the beauty that can come in change. I'm reminded that in all things there will be green again. There will be growth. There will be healing. There will be restoration. Loosing leaves is very necessary in order to prepare for winter and strengthening the foundation of the tree (the roots and trunk). For everything there is a season. Maybe you feel like you are in a season of fall. God does some of his best work in the fall and winter seasons. Preparing you for the things ahead for spring and summer.