leaves, dark shadow, red, yellow, orange

Leaf by Leaf: Falling into Freedom

  Fall is a remarkable season of leaves letting go of tree branches and floating to the ground below. It is simple, yet it is such a sight to watch. The leaves slowly let go as the wind swooshes through, breaking them free to fly. To fly and twirl for a short minute and then gracefully fall to the ground. Eventually, leaves are piled up and cover every blade of grass on the surface. 

Crunch. Crunch. You hear the leaves crumble underneath your boots as you stride across the walkway.  Piles of crimson reds, hazy oranges, and vibrant yellows mesh together to exhibit the beauty of fall. The landscape of fall is one to treasure, one that we try to imprint on memories, never to forget the peaceful scenery surrounding us this season.

As the leaves were unshackling their stems from their temporary branches of home, my thoughts rattled alive with a view that needed to be written down to share, hence this blog post 😉 

The leaves falling freely and gracefully is a picture of us falling into the freedom of Jesus. The freedom and pursuit of unfailing love and forgiveness allow us to drift in the wind gracefully & land on gentle grounds. 

The picture of a leaf twirling and fluttering across the sky to land softly on the ground reminded me of our Lord’s grace. He is so graceful. The leaves let go of the tree branch to flutter freely. Hypothetically, the tree branch can be a symbolic representation of who we once were before fully accepting our identity in Christ. It could be our past upbringing, our current group of friends that aren’t pushing us to be our best selves, or a sin that we can’t seem to release. The leaf stem breaks free from the branch, ultimately finding its freedom and movement in the fall air.

There is a song by Chris Tomlin called Resurrection Power, and his lyrics 

Freedom, you have given us freedom

My chains are gone!

When you accept Jesus in your heart, a surge of freedom comes washing over us. That freedom breaks our chains of whatever weighs our hearts & identities down. Like those leaves falling from a tree branch, our stems can be broken off and released into freedom. Freedom of the wind & air currents for the leaf; freedom of Jesus blowing through us. Releasing from the branch and our sins allows the swift development of who we were intended to be. 

What does freedom in Christ look like?

In Galatians 5:1 (NIV), “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves become burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Paul, the author, was writing to remind us that we have freedom because Christ set us free. Free from our sins (Romans 6:7). Christ has done the work on the cross. It is finished (John 19:30). Our sins were paid for by the innocent Lamb of God. He was crucified and paid for all of our sins. Every one of our sins, if we believe that Jesus is our Savior. 

Now, freedom has different connotations behind the meaning of the word itself. In America, we have listed freedoms that set us uniquely apart from other countries. The freedom to speak. The freedom to practice any religion. The freedom to bear arms. But this freedom that Paul is talking about, is that Christ has freed us from deadly sin. Sin inhibits our relationship with God and it breaks the communication line with our heavenly Father. 

Christ died to set sins free so that we can have freedom in building a relationship with God. However, with that freedom, we are called to not go back to our sins or be a slave to the things that once tempted us. When accepting Christ in our hearts, we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Freedom in Christ, is freedom in knowing ourselves as daughters of the Almighty God, our heavenly Father.

Because we have been saved and promised eternal life due to Jesus’s atonement (John 3:16), freedom is to help us serve others in the Kingdom of God. If you read further in Galatians 5:13, it says “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

We are free to love. Not to do whatever we selfishly want. But we are freed from our sins and are called to help love others so that they might also be freed from their sins by accepting Christ. Freedom in faith rests in the power of knowing love to give love. The greatest commandment is to first love God with all our hearts, mind, and souls. The second is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). 

When Jesus took the cross, He did it out of love. Love for us. Love for His Father. He did this out of knowing the freedom we would have if the chains of our sins fell. It is a part of God’s redemption plan for His children: to know His love so that we can enter into His love, and for all of His children to have the freedom to know that love because of Jesus. Falling into freedom is the preface of God’s everlasting love. To fall like the leaves is to fall in love with God’s character & restoration for us. 

No wonder why the leaf looks so whimsical, graceful, and fluid. 

It’s the gift of freedom

The unshackling of chains

The fresh wind of the Spirit

The saving grace of love.

Thank you, Jesus.

With all my love,