These are the words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 64:6.
I am impressed every autumn with this descriptive word picture. The beautiful colours and the brilliant tints of the fall leaves are so short lived. We can enjoy them only for a short time. Some trees are able to hang onto their leaves longer than others, but eventually they all fade and fall. Leaves are born to die. They appear in the spring, and we all know that they shall fall in the autumn.
God, through the prophet, reminds us that we are all like that - born to die. Some fall early in the summer of life. Some hang on through all the storms of the seasons and cling throughout the winter to the limb of the tree as though they would not let go, but eventually they too flutter to the ground.
One thing that we can learn from the leaves is that one of the surest things in life is death. "It is appointed unto men once to die" the Bible says.
Some leaves seem to grow more beautiful as they age, others less attractive.
People are like that too. Some develop the most beautiful traits of character and seem to give a benedictory peace as you sit in their presence. Others become more cruel as age creeps on. They give way to their passionate tempers, they become unruly, hard to live with, unreasonable in their demands, unsatisfied, fault finding and critical.
We will soon fade as the leaf! Will we live to serve only ourselves, or will we by the help of God develop those Christian graces which will make us beautiful throughout life and especially lovely in our last days?
- Carl E. Martin