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:
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 15:55) Breathtaking.
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.
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dying to self – something that i need to battle with every day 😀
Me too, Andi. Me too. Thankful to Jesus for His grace when we fail and His help that propels us to succeed.
Great analogy. The word picture that came to mind is how trees go out in a blaze of glory… as do we… as we continually walk outside ourselves and into what the Lord has for us we are renewed and go out in a blaze of glory.
Amen Brianna! That reminds me of how Elijah was taken up to heaven in a blaze of glory of sorts on that chariot of fire. 🙂 Thankful for God’s willingness to renew us and take us into glory.
I see the beauty in both dying while alive and realizing that in Christ physical death is a beautiful uniting with our savior.
I needed this at this moment. I had just snapped at my husband because he had not handled something the way I thought it should be taken care of. The truth is he showed grace and love in this situation. I need to die to self and apologize.,,,
Suzanne, I’m thankful for the love in your heart to recognize and take action by apologizing. I have to apologize to my kids even sometimes! Humbling. I pray now that God grants you beauty in this through your willingness to die to yourself and apologize.
Beautiful reminder. Dying to self is not a natural reflex, but the results of a life lived with such intention are simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing this!
Thank you, Katie!
Wonderful post and analogy! Love this – Those leaves are not producing food for themselves anymore and in their death they blaze bright before falling to the ground. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Ashlee! Thanks so much for your comment. God bless your Fall!
So beautiful and so true! Thank you for that reminder, Meredith.
Thank you, April. I am so thankful for what Jesus has done. It makes the command in Romans, to be a living sacrifice to Him holy and pleasing, seem like so little and such a privilege to offer back to Him.
God bless your fall!
wow this is beautiful and it reminds me of my husbands vows. “I will die to myself daily for you” A Christians death is beautiful as you said dying to self and our dying bodies. What beautiful thoughts gathered by God’s creation.
Hi, Mihaela! What beautiful vows you and your husband made to each other. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His church. I’m looking forward to dining at His wedding banquet someday. Until then, thank you for reminding me of wedding vows. Beautiful!
Wow Meredith, this is a very brave post. I believe it could be particularly encouraging to people facing the end of their life. I hope they read it. Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints. I’m sure this is part of the reason God’s afforded an amount of beauty in death as you described. I appreciated how you related it to the cycle in nature. I’m sure part of the natural death that takes place around us is meant to prepare us for our own. Fortunately – like you alluded to –… Read more »
Hi, Scott. Amen to dying without fear because of Jesus. No fear or condemnation for those in Christ. I’m incredibly thankful.
Thank you for your comment about death in nature preparing us for our own step into eternity. I also believe that God absolutely does put truths of life and of Himself in His creation. Like it says in Romans 1:20-
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
God bless your fall!
Psalm 116:15 states, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” When loved ones and friends who are believers who have died, I realize that I’m grieving (which is totally okay) for myself, but I’m also joyful for them, because that person is in God’s presence.
Hi, Sarah. Yes, death of a loved one who is in Christ is bitter sweet for sure. I have found it to be quite an emotional roller coaster as I say “see you later” to loved ones in Christ. Happy, sad, missing them, sad, joyful… and on and on. So thankful we can all look forward to the time when there will be no more tears or pain when we are all in heaven with our Lord. Revelation 21:4 “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for… Read more »