The smell of dry, dead leaves reached my nostrils as I walked through the woods. I have to be honest and say I actually love that smell. I had my camera, fresh air, and peace and quiet. All that was necessary to clear my head and reflect on different situations in my life.
As I shuffled through the leaves, I realized that there were not many things to photograph. That can be a bit depressing to this woman who loves color.
Yet, dying leaves form a function. They lay rotting on the forest floor and turn to mulch. They fertilize the soil. Trees actually reserve their energy for the winter by shedding the dying leaves. This allows them to save up the energy to produce new greenery in the spring. And as I ambled along I realized that the trials in our lives are a lot like that.
Things feel dead, dying, depressing and discouraging when we are going through a trial. Yet, those trials cause us to turn to the One who can help. As we cast off those worries and concerns onto the Lord, we reserve our energy to develop and grow spiritually.
James tells us in chapter 1, verses 2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
When we focus on worrying and the trial, our energy is sapped. I'm sure we've all experienced the weak feeling that comes from being consumed with worry. Yet, when we shed those cares and worries and cast them on the Lord's shoulders, the testing of our faith causes new growth. Those struggles will produce maturity in us when we trust God and persevere through them.
Things may seem bleak now, but the spring is coming. Things will be renewed.