I love the fall. I was born and raised in Minnesota and now live in Texas but one of the things I miss the most about Minnesota is the change of seasons. I love the weather and the sweaters and the food. I love that I can gain 5lbs and no one knows because I have to wear layers upon layers of clothes. But the thing I think that I love the most, is the colors that the leaves turn in the fall. They go from green to a beautiful yellow, orange and red. What is interesting about this process is that the leaves are turning these colors because they are dying. I love the green but the leaves on these trees are the most beautiful...when they are dying.
I think that is a beautiful picture of our lives when they are surrendered to the Lord. We may have done great things before we knew Jesus, our leaves are green, but after we turn from our old lives we in essence "die" to our old life and now begin a journey of dying to ourselves daily. I know it doesn't sound glamorous but this produces the most beautiful and vibrant lives. 1 Peter 2:24 (NLT) says, " He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed." I love the part "live for what is right." There are so many times before I gave my life to the Lord that I thought I was living for what was right. I was living for a paycheck, I was living for recognition, I was living for having a good time but all of those things left me feeling empty. When I started living for what is right in the sight of God my whole perspective changed. I have ZERO desire to go to a club. Why? Because the music is raunchy, strangers are trying to sleep with you and you drink so much that you wake up hung over. No thank you! Being a Christian is not boring. Most people believe once you get saved all fun stops. To the contrary, the definition of fun just changes.
Every day I choose to die to my selfish desires. Every day I choose to do what is right. Every day I die beautifully. Every day I look less like the world and more like Jesus. When Jesus steps in our whole mission changes. We go from doing what feels good, to doing what Jesus says is good. And doing what Jesus says is "good" isn't always pretty. Feeding the homeless, not pretty. Standing by someone as they throw up because they drank too much at a party but the only person they could think of to call for help was YOU, isn't pretty. Holding the hand of a mom who just lost her son to cancer, isn't pretty. Raising children when you wish you had a job outside of the home...for a break, isn't pretty. Bringing food to a friend that overdosed because you know they need a friend and hope, isn't pretty. Allowing your heart to break for the things that break God's, isn't pretty. None of these things are "pretty" by the worlds standards but they are BEAUTIFUL by God's standards. "And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’" (Matthew 25:40).
We do all of these things because we know what true freedom looks like and we know the One who sets us free. We do these things not for recognition but because by His wounds we are healed. We are healed from addiction. We are healed from fear. We are healed from anger. We are healed from rejection. We are healed from doubt. We are healed from (fill in the blank). We want those around us to experience the freedom we have. That is why we do it, to point them to Jesus.
So, as you go about your day and your life remember how beautifully God sees you. As you lay down your selfish desires for HIS desires you are dying beautifully for a Savior that died for you.