Fall is beautiful.

The colors in the leaves are breathtaking. Check out this picture my mother-in-law took of a tree glowing with color:

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That tree is stunning, golden and vibrant.

The leaves on the ground around the tree reflect like a mirror the beauty on the branches.

I’d love to be next to that tree and sit under its calm beauty.

As I admire the vibrance of these fall colors a thought occurs to me:

Those leaves are beautiful because they are dying. 

Those leaves are not producing food for themselves anymore. In their death they blaze bright before falling to the ground. In that moment, a question occurs to me: Is there beauty in dying?

Yes, I do believe there is beauty in dying. As I think about it three thoughts come to me.

I believe there is beauty in dying to yourself in the everyday choices.

If two (or more) of my boys are arguing and no compromise can be made I say to them, “Well, one of you must die to yourself and desires then.” This idea comes from many Bible verses such as this one: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24, NIV)  It is beautiful to see one brother choose to put aside his own passions and desires for the love of his brother and for the love of Christ.

There is beauty in a mother who is weary with chores but chooses to roll up her sleeves anyway and find something to be thankful about. Beauty in a husband choosing to roll up his sleeves and do chores right next to her.

There is great loveliness in choosing patience and love toward someone who is rude to you. Loveliness in choosing to cry out to God to help you truly forgive someone who has wronged you.

There is something lovely in choosing to not watch a popular movie because the Lord’s name is profaned and the story has inappropriate sexual content in it. Beauty in a wife choosing to say ‘yes’ to her husband even when tired. And beauty in a husband choosing to be patient and wait on his wife to be ready.

There is beauty in a father choosing to ride bikes with excited children after a long day’s work. Loveliness in a mom choosing to share her last bite of chocolate with small pleading eyes.

Beauty in choosing to get out the checkbook, an envelope, and a stamp to send off $25 to the mission asking for financial help as they reach people for Christ.

There is beauty in dying to yourself in everyday choices.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death. 

Often, at the passing of a loved one people will say, “I am sorry for your loss.” It is true there is loss in death, but for the death of a Christian the loss is temporary and beauty abounds. I have a dear friend who lost her sister this past May. This woman was in her early thirties and leaves behind on earth a husband, two very young daughters, adoring parents, and loving siblings. To be sure, there is a painful and searing loss. But, oh, there is beauty too.

The Bible says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) This mother, wife, daughter, sister has died, but because of her choice to follow Christ she has gained.

That is beautiful.

Her seeing her Savior face to face is incomprehensible in its beauty.

Her legacy of love and consistency in putting aside her own passions and desires is glowing in loveliness.

Her freedom from cancer and being given a new body by Christ is stunning.

And the promise of her reunion with her husband, daughters, parents, siblings, and friends for eternity is breathtaking.

If you have lost someone and they were in Christ, you have not truly lost them. You know where they are. They are saved for you in the most unfathomable place of beauty.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death.

I believe none of this beauty would be possible without my Savior Jesus’s death. 

There would be no reason for a person to choose to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) if Jesus had not done it first so beautifully.

There is immeasurable beauty in Jesus’s life’s example where He, without fail, denied himself and died to His own passions and desires. When He, surrounded with sick and begging people all the time, chose the beauty in giving of Himself and thinking of others first. Beautiful.

There is inescapable beauty when He said, “yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) and chose death on a cross so that we might never be lost. So that we might never feel unloved. So that we would never have to say goodbye to anyone who is in Christ but only ‘see you later.’ Beautiful.

There is indescribable beauty in His rising again to live and to rule on the third day.  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55Breathtaking.

There is now beauty in dying. Jesus is the reason for it all.

So friends, feel free to die.

There is little that is more beautiful. Feel free to deny yourself and live for Christ and others. Find joy in being “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God for this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) It is your proper worship to the One who did it first. If you earnestly seek His help, He will show you. He knows the way.

May we, by God’s power in us, be like the tree above.

Beautiful in dying. Stunning, golden, and vibrant in sacrificial love.

May our actions leave a beauty around us that reflects like a mirror the loving beauty Christ has put in our hearts.

May we be people the world looks to for the calm in our hearts because we know death in the body is the beginning of eternal beauty.

An Annual Reminder to Find Beauty in Dying

Has this shed some new light on fall foliage for you? I know it will be an annual reminder for me from now on. Would you share how you see beauty in dying, or how you want to have more beauty in your life by denying yourself?

Thanks for reading.

*A note from the woman’s sister mentioned above: “By my sister living out her faith until the very moment Our Father called her home, she taught us how to choose joy in life and how to face death with such courage and hope. What a gift.”  Beautiful.

Meredith P
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