A Leaf in Time by Brinda Vanleuvan

Years ago, I enjoyed art and found it was something I could use to relax with. It really never stressed me out! After all it’s just a piece of paper and paint!  Creating something out of nothing was fun and many times the results were rewarding. No, I never won any big prizes and none of my drawings or paintings were published, but the reward came from within.  Many years have gone by (I won’t say how many), and because of one simple gift from my daughter for Mother’s Day, I picked the paint brush and paper up again. I quickly found this hobby of mine drew me into a sweet spot in my heart and mind. It was relaxing and fulfilling especially during the Covid Chaos.  It was perfect timing.

Recently, I painted a picture for my dad’s 96ths birthday.  I had struggled with what I would paint, but then it came to me! A church with an autumn scene. Perfect for a dad who was a pastor for over 60 years with a birthday in October!  It really is fun painting all the beautiful colors of Autumn! I had many thoughts of pleasing my dad and giving him a reason to smile and think of me when he sees the painting hanging in is room. Thoughts of changing seasons, and how many people he influenced over the years. I am reminded of my faith walk at this moment. Being raised in the church has it’s perks for sure as I had opportunity to learn of how great our God is and how He gave us a rescue plan through Jesus and was generous enough to leave us with The Holy Spirit to guide, empower, comfort, and so much more! I am reminded my walk with Jesus has been like this painting with these leaves changing into beautiful colors! You see, the leaves are beautiful because they are dying. Yes! Dying. Not to be morbid, but the day we are born is also the day we begin to die. Stay with me now.

My journey of faith began at a tender age of 13. The leaves were fresh and green in my life for a good many years, until I guess, the enemy realized I was going to stay connected to the vine of Jesus Christ. The attacks came one after another and most times overlapped. There were many autumn moments in my life when it seemed like the changes were just too fast and furious. Many times, I just wanted spring to return so life could just go along like it did in the past. But God had other plans during my journey. He wanted me to experience all the season changes. His desire for me was to grow me into a woman of faith that couldn’t be shaken. He wanted me to know He would care for me even in the dead of winter when those leaves were all fallen and buried beneath piles of snow. He loves me enough to get me through the heat of the summer when situations seemed to get hotter and hotter!

Sitting down to begin a painting is the hardest part, because I can’t see anything on the paper. It’s blank.  With each stroke of the brush, it gets a bit easier. Why? Because I develop the idea or the vision.  I then start to see some results.  Sometimes a painting takes just a few minutes, and sometimes it may take a few days to complete. The painting of the church in the midst of the dying leaves is a picture of what God is doing to all of us, His church. Do you feel your life is dying, almost ready to fall off the limbs? Do you feel you just want all seasons of green lush leaves? It’s quite okay to want a break from the heat of the summers, the dead of the winters, and the dying of the leaves in the Autumn. Remember though, Gods plan for the seasons are like the plans for your lives.

Ecclesiastes 3 is entitled A Time for Everything.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.

The scripture goes on and on about a time for…. To laugh and cry, to grieve and dance, to embrace and turn away and so forth.

Just like me, you can most likely relate to any of the above “times”.

You’ve experienced birth and most likely have experienced death of a loved one or friend. All in God’s time.

Do you know a gardener who plants and brings in the harvest?  Have you planted seeds of faith in your children or grandchildren and now you are waiting for the harvest?  It is in His perfect time.

We’ve all had times to laugh (at times hysterically), and there isn’t one of us who can avoid crying over a situation out of our control.  In His Time.

We grieve at the world’s situations, but someday will dance with our Savior Jesus. In His Time.

Some lately, because we are told to social distance have been afraid to embrace and instead turn away, but it’s always the right time to embrace the goodness of God and turn away from the sin and destruction of a fallen world.

There is a time for everything under Heaven. Jesus’ death and resurrection were Gods perfect timing. The most important of times. Death became the most beautiful piece in History. A masterpiece of sort. A picture of perfect timing for you and for me; for the world!

If God is for us, who or what can be against us! (Romans 8:31)

What an amazing God I serve, because today He reminded me how beautiful my life actually is because of the changes that have occurred.  These leaves on the trees in all their splendor, glory and beauty are dying but they have a beauty that all of us soak in. I realized if I don’t go through the tough stuff; the hurts, disappointments, and even heart ache, I will not develop a beautiful heart to be used by God Himself to care for others, to hope for others, and to love others. I choose to embrace and not turn away from all that comes; whatever season it may be. I choose to please my Heavenly Father.

Look at your life. Your situation. Your purpose. Remember God created you from nothing; a blank slate.  In His time, He will make everything beautiful even though the leaves die and fall to the ground; as cold approaches and then spring appears. He will make everything just right in His Time.

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