I used to think this time of year, after the leaves fall and before the snow flies, was ugly. The bleak grayness of the barren landscape would depress me . I saw no beauty in the brown undergrowth or the skeletal trees standing against the gray sky.
In recent years, however, I’ve come to discover that the beauty of nature during this time of year is not lost; you just have to look for it. Unlike the flashy glory of the autumn foliage, the beauty of this season is elegantly subtle. It does not arrest the eye as the scenery in earlier months of the year does; like high art, it archly displays its glory only for those who have learned to appreciate it.
When the pervading ambiance of the outside world is death, it may seem odd to find beauty in it. But we need only to look to the Cross of Jesus to find beauty in death. Death that holds promise for life. For if the trees and plants held on to their summertime and autumnal splendor, the weight of the snow would drag them down and break them. They must be stripped of their own glory before they can receive the weight of a greater glory. And if they did not die, the seeds bound tightly within them would never be broken free from their caches to spawn new life for another year. Death must precede life.
So it is with us. In the death of Jesus, our Savior, we find the promise of eternal life. We must be stripped of our own glory so that we may be clothed with the weight of God’s pure glory. We must hold a death sentence to our flesh within ourselves so that the seeds of Christ’s righteousness planted within us at salvation may bear an abundant harvest of fruit for His glory.
Question: How do you view November – as beautiful or barren? How do you find beauty in things that at first seem ugly or unpleasant?