We have, for over 4 months now, just taken tree leaves for granted. They have stood proud in their leafy, lively greenness through rain, wind and sun. We enjoyed their shade when the sun was high and the temperature followed, but other than that they kind of went unnoticed. Now that the nights are cool those leafy guardians of the trees are beginning to change their color, so we are noticing them once again. As the days progress we will watch them fall to the ground and we will rake them to the street and watch them be carried away (by the wind, as well as the street crew). Then our trees will stand just as tall, but much less adorned, except for a new fallen snow throughout the winter months.
But, do not despair because those leaves that died away will be replaced by another set of soldiers that will rustle, wave, and shade just like the ones before them. Next spring will bring new buds that will form into leaves that will be ignored much of the summer season and only when fall comes will many of us realize what has been there for months, as they change into their autumn hues of gold, red and orange.
The church is quite the same way. We have many faithful soldiers who have burst onto the scene and have provided safety, love and encouragement throughout our walk with God. Much of the time we take them for granted because they fill their post so well. Sadly, it is only during their autumn season that we notice the influence they have had on our lives. And then, all too suddenly, they're no longer able to stand at the guard in the same way and too many have been taken from us. It is then that we truly notice all that they have given to the church and to our lives.
In case you are wondering, yesterday would have been my parents 57th wedding anniversary and what wouldn't I give to be able to have one more conversation with my daddy. I miss him and too many more soldiers of the faith that have gone on to their reward, but someone has to take their place. All the budding saints of God have got to become leaves of righteousness that stand at guard over the body of Christ. We'll be here to teach the children, reach the lost, and provide a stable base for the church to grow through. The guard changes, but the protection and execution of our duties has to remain.
God Bless You,