It was dumb. But the leaves were falling so prettily around me and the wind was so soft – I wanted to catch a leaf.
It was petty. But I thought, “God will let me catch a leaf.”
And I tried – all the while thinking, “Is it right for me to ask God for such insignificantly things?” He cares for the birds, and I know He knows when every leaf falls. Though, why would He want to know that? What is the purpose? Well, He knows because He is infinite and knowing everything (even the leaves falling) does not tax or drain Him.
“Those leaves are a lot like the fancies (Proverbs 1:31) we chase in life.” My thought stopped my quest for leaves.
In life, we can catch something we think we want by chasing it. Or worse sometimes we reach up and pluck it before it is ready and in the process we destroy its beauty. And then we don’t want it anymore.
I looked up at the trees and light filtering down through the clouds. All the wonder around me, and I was missing out chasing the falling leaves. Oh, how we all miss out in life chasing what we want (only to catch it and find out it isn’t what we need).
And that is when I caught one! A leaf fluttered down right into my lap. It was dead – falling leaves generally are.
“So are the dreams we chase.” I said to myself.
All the leaves are dead away from the tree. All my dreams are dead away from Jesus.
Hold loosely all the things that are dead. And obey instead those things which God assures us bring life (Deuteronomy 30:19).
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25
Jesus spoke those words after talking with a rich young ruler who was convinced surely he had done everything necessary to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Mark 10:17-27). Watching the man walk away, Jesus mused about how hard it is for the rich man to be saved. And He repeated Himself. Not once or twice, but three times – meaning to His Jewish audience that this statement was undeniably true.
The rich in material things. The rich in education. The rich in power. The rich in strength. All these people have the “resources” to support their delusions of self-sufficiency. They are rich enough to be knowledgeable, knowledgeable enough to have power, powerful enough to have strength – and they are too weak to ever save themselves from hell.
The ‘poor’ have no such delusions. They are simple enough to know they don’t know and humble enough to realize their lack of control. Every person – rich, poor, black, white, educated, or illiterate – must come to this place of recognition, “I cannot save myself. But Jesus can and I will trust Him completely.”
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:3).
They are so blurry that if I had taken these photos today – I would delete them. If they were printed in the 1990’s – I would throw them away as damaged goods.
But these photographs perpetually sit in my closet as a piece of our family’s history. They bear the image of some Iowa farm folk from the 1800s. Honestly, I am not 100% sure who they are…only that we are related…somehow. Yet, they are likely to stay nestled in my belongings ‘forever’. The image on them keeps them safe.
Like these pictures, we bear an image. It is a likeness infinitely more sacred than a tin type from the Civil War. It is the image of God. Like my family photos, that reflection is blurred and damaged to the point that it is hard to recognize. Still we can be sure that each of us bear God’s ‘engineering stamp’. Even though man has sinned (Genesis 9:6), we are created with that unmistakable mark of God.
But what does that ‘stamp’ look like? How about the ability to choose? The capacity to love? That stirring of compassion? That capability to forgive? Or to put others first? These are not natural. They are supernatural. Aptitudes that do not come from us, but from God as a reflection of Him.
Have you seen the image of God today?
It’s fear inducing. They don’t even look; road construction workers just saunter out into traffic blindly trusting distracted drivers to swerve or slow down…or something. Their willingness to “step out in faith” is enviable. That’s what I want to do that when God says, “go”.
It’s fascinating. Men in flimsy yellow vests stand in the middle of the road, in front of battering rams going 60 mph. They trust a sign the size of a large dinner plate to shield them from the assault. I want to respond like that when God says, “do”.
It’s faith. They eat lunch perched on the guardrails – ignoring the fact: there is a reason to have guardrail there. Their break is taken three feet from speeding deadly weapons on one side and three feet from a cliff on the other. But when God says, “rest” that is how I want to do it, in faith..
FAITH to GO
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.