Lesson From A Leaf

“Will Praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well”
Psalm 139:14 NKJV


This was a deeply painful season of loss and change. I found myself disillusioned about meaning, purpose and value in my life.  As part of the spiritual discipline of solitude I chose a walk on a rustic path leading to a dry streambed. 


As I walked beside a small clearing at the edge of the wooded path a richly coloured leaf on the ground caught my eye. I thought, “don’t be distracted, Terri, you’re supposed to be listening for God.  I sensed Him nudging me saying, “It’s ok, pick it up”. 


I shook myself free from my own scolding voice, and obeyed what I felt was God’s voice of freedom.  I picked up the leaf and examined it closely. It was a deep rich russet as they had just begun their showy transformation. My heart was filled with wonder as I turned it in my hand and studied the intricate structure of veins that carried life through this exquisite little leaf.


I felt how perfectly pliable and soft it was. It had begun to curl and twist a bit, showing the advanced stage in it’s life cycle. I attempted to iron it out with my hand and help it to lie flat again as it had once been. I was surprised at how tough and leathery it seemed as it resumed the curled position; not fragile at all as I expected. Perhaps it had not been separated from the tree long enough to lose resilience. Or, maybe rain from the night before had infused the cells giving it the ability to bounce back to its self determined form. This individual leaf was not submitted to me or the force of my hand in the least.


I walked into the middle of the clearing and just stood, I felt a bit like Habakkuk in chapter 2:1


“I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.”


In the middle of that clearing, I suddenly understanding opened up in my heart. Like the leaf, that the maker of heaven and earth had personally and deliberately made a space for me in His story, His universe and His timeline. The value and significance of the lea belong to the Father. He determines the days and the purpose of all He designs. A purpose determined by God is holy and precious. A leaf that would soon become dust but today it was delivering a prophetic message to me about my life.


I am His exquisite creation, made with resilience as long as I am tied to my source of life.  I am in my fall season of life and this body will become dust, but like this prophetic little leaf, my life has value because it belongs to Him. 

Who am I to doubt the value of what God has made. Our purpose lies completely in Him who made us for such a time as this.


Terri Murphy