by Frans Bakker
We all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. —Isaiah 64:6b We all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. —Isaiah 64:6b
The spring season speaks of new life, but the fall season reminds us of our mortality. The fall colors are beautiful with their deep red, orange, and yellow hues. The colors of the leaves on the trees lining the roads are stunning, but in spite of their beauty, they are telling us that their glory is fading away. Soon, they will fall off the trees to be trodden underfoot and then they will decay. Fall speaks to us of letting go, just as the leaves of a tree have to let go of the branches. These fallen leaves used to be attached to the branches of the trees and were once full of vitality and freshness. But as we look around us in the fall season, we see the leaves falling and fading. This is the message that nature speaks to us at this time of the year. Someone has written: “Death wrote me a message; I read it on a fading leaf.”
Every leaf we see is, as it were, a message. These messages are all addressed to you and me. The sender is death. “We all do fade as a leaf,” Isaiah says. Regardless of whether we wish to live or die, death is a reality. In spite of all our futile attempts to look young and try to act youthful, it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment. We all have to let go of life, just like the leaves fall from the trees. We are all going to die and be taken away!
Nothing is less certain than life, but there is nothing more certain than death. Let us consider who we really are in ourselves, for who are we? One puff of wind and we fall down. We are mortal beings—nothing more; but we live as if we could live forever on this earth. It may be that we do not think of death for even one minute, but the reality is that we all do fade as a leaf. The difference is, however, that we do not fade into nothingness as a leaf does. We do not decompose like a leaf. We have an immortal soul. Therefore, when we are taken away by death, we do not just disappear from this earth; rather, we must appear before God, the Judge, and the books will be opened. The fall season teaches us that eventually we are all going to go to our long home. Are we prepared to meet our Maker?
From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.