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True Colors

A path is set between trees with leaves turned a golden orange and red in the fall. Fall is here. The trees are showing brilliant colors here in the south.

Days are shorter. The heat of summer is breaking. I love the new season. I love the colors of fall: red apples, orange pumpkins, the variety in Indian Corn and the brilliance of the fall leaves in all their glory.

Those beautiful fall colors amaze me, especially when the afternoon sun hits the leaves just right and they seem to sparkle brilliantly.

But did you know those beautiful colors are there throughout the entire summer? No, you cannot see them because the leaves produce sugar from the sun’s light on the chlorophyll in the leaves. This causes the leaves to appear green. The shortening days and cool nights of autumn trigger changes in the tree. The production of chlorophyll decreases and the green color of the leaf fades. The true color of the leaf is then revealed.

People are much like those leaves. As long as everything in our lives is sunny and sugary, we appear to be well-tempered, happy, wonderful human beings. We convince ourselves how great and well-adjusted we are.

 

The fingers of a hand are seen as through they've punched through paperBut when things start getting short – work layoffs, pay cuts, the washing machine breaks, an unexpected illness, etc. – our true colors begin to surface. We yell at the kids, the dog and even our spouse. We are no longer the jovial, “I have everything under control” person we presented to the world when everything was sunny.

OR…

We take it in stride, knowing God is our source and provider. God loves us and is with us in the tough times as well as the good. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is our anchor, our Rock, our fortress in the storms of life. We reflect His love and goodness in the midst of adversity.

“The good man brings forth good things out of the good stores up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

When we shine for God in the tough times, our testimony has great impact. It is easy to praise God in the good times. But people really take notice when we praise God in the bad times. That is when our brilliant colors of love, patience, even-temperedness, kind words and pleasant tones show the world a better way to live. Jesus called it “abundant life.”

Two wooden hearts lay in a pile of fall leavesEvery tree goes through fall. Not one of them is spared. So too, every person goes through trials and tribulations. Jesus told his disciples, “In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Our true colors will be exposed. “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17

I want to be a person whose true colors shine for Jesus even more in the short times of life than in the sunny times. I am still a work in progress. But that is the great thing about God. Each year the trees get another opportunity. They must let go of the year’s leaves before they get the opportunity to grow new leaves in the spring. Then those fallen, dead leaves become fertilizer for the new growth next spring.

So as you are raking those leaves in your yard or just walking through them, ask God to show you what you need to let go of this year in order to be a better reflection of his love and abundant life. Let your true colors shine!

Happy Fall Y’all!

Renee Bingham

A mother smiles as she holds her baby boy with golden leaves behind her.

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