Nature is a phenomenal teacher. There are many instances in the bible where God uses nature to teach us about Himself and His infinite power and wisdom. These lessons help us grow and mature spiritually and thrive in a difficult and turbulent world. Last year, near the end of 2019, I sat on my patio thinking about the lessons the year had taught me when I noticed an unusually large amount of dry leaves scattered across my patio. My eyes instantly gazed up at the tree from which the leaves had fallen. As a soft wind blew, a dozen or so more leaves joined the hundreds already scattered across my backyard. It made me reflect on the process of letting go and how hard it is to do. Based on the amount of leaves in my yard, it appeared that trees have zero problems letting go of its leaves. I thought, if a tree can let go with such ease and grace, why is letting go so hard for us?
Intrigued by that thought, I googled the phrase “how long does it take a tree to let go of its leaves”. My best guess was the leaves naturally withered in the fall, and after becoming dry and brittle, they were most likely lifted away by the wind. But, man, was I wrong. I learned that “shedding trees” send a signal to their branches that release cells called ascisous (root word is scissors). These cells have the job of weakening the leaf and the wind does the rest. I learned that the tree must release these leaves, because if it doesn’t it will die. It really is fascinating. Unbeknownst to me, trees don’t sit there just waiting for their leaves to fall. They actually initiate the entire process! God created and designed trees so that they instinctively know when it’s time to let certain leaves go. The process is gradual, all of the leaves don’t fall at once. The tree repeats this process, leaf after leaf, until all that’s left is a bare tree that has now prepared itself for spring. The tree has made room for new leaves to grow and aid in sustaining its life.
This is incredible, right? This is not by happenstance. God is intentional with His creations. Can you see any parallels to our lives? Any lessons God is trying to teach us? These were my takeaways:
- Trees and cells are in agreement on what needs to be done.
- Trees allow the cells to do their job.
- Trees and the cells operate in perfect harmony. They are one.
- Trees depend on the wisdom of the cells to decide which leaves to release and when to release them.
- Trees are patient. They trust the cells and understand leaves must be released gradually.
- By relying on the wisdom of the cells, trees make room for new leaves to grow.
- Trees understand that they need the cells to survive and thrive.
Now, read my list again, but this time use your name in place of trees, replace the cells with the Holy Spirit and replace the leaves with people or things. Mind blowing, right? God has blessed trees with internal, decisive wisdom. Don’t you see how He’s done much, much more for us? Similar to how the trees rely on the cells to strategically remove specific leaves, God desires that we rely on the Holy Spirit to show us how to let go and make room for more.
If we are to let go of things or people with wisdom, we must invite and allow the Spirit of Truth to do what God has appointed Him to do in our lives! But when we operate independently of the Holy Spirit, we tend to hold onto people/things we are supposed to release, and we release people/things that are meant to stay. We end up making these wrong choices because we resist the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and rely on our own understanding, which is usually clouded by our emotions. Think about what would happen if trees did what we do. Would they thrive? Would they survive?
Ecclesiates 3:1 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” God has a season, and a time for everything. The trees show us how God works in times and seasons. The fall season is a time for trees to let go so they can make room for the new leaves that are expected in the spring. Likewise, there will be seasons where God will lead us to let go of some things in order to make room for new things and opportunities. Isaiah 43:19 says “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?:
We must make room for the things we are asking God to manifest in our lives, but we cannot successfully do this on our own. The Holy Spirit is with us and will wisely guide us through our times and seasons. If we allow Him to do His job, He will guide us into all truth, leading us to make wise decisions in accordance with God’s will for our lives. So, as we are petitioning God to open the windows of Heaven, let’s learn from the trees and allow the Holy Spirit to show us how and when to let go in order to make room for more!
Prayer: Father, you are so wise. You’ve hidden treasures of wisdom inside your beautiful creations so that we might know you better. Open the eyes of our hearts so that we may see the wisdom in letting go of things, people or situations that don’t serve your plans for our lives. May we depend upon the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and not our own understanding when the season and time comes to let go. Please overwhelm us with your peace during those times. Thank you for showing us how to make room for more. In the beautiful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.