Little yellow leaves from the front yard tree dance across the porch and driveway. As their bright green color fades, it seems they fall almost as quickly as they change.

I love summer, and part of me longs to whisper to the tree, “Hold on a little longer. Come on; you got this. Think green!” But graciously, the tree listens to its Maker rather than my foolish whispers.

In order to flourish in the new season, the tree must let go of its decayed leaves. They have performed well for the term, but their time has drawn to a close.

Autumn is a wonderful time to observe nature. As I watch the swirling leaves, I am reminded that they display an important lesson for all of us to follow suit, in a way.

Just as the trees don’t stubbornly hold on to their dead leaves, so we shouldn’t hold on to any unnecessary weight in our lives. When we long to enter a new season, the old can easily inhibit the new if we allow it.

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God’s word reminds us in Ephesians 4:31-32 to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

The Lord longs to empower and strengthen us for the new season ahead. If we’re not sure of the issues detaining a fresh start, He will show us when we ask. And if guilt from the past is preventing this beautiful new season, we have His promises to remember.

The Bible says in Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

What are you holding on to that is preventing a freshness to the season ahead? Could it be that the decayed leaves are piling up and your heart needs to discard them for good?

If so, why not reach out to the Lord in prayer? He longs to hear from you. Ask Him to shine light on any thoughts, circumstances, habits or other “decayed leaves” you might be clinging to.

As you watch the leaves fall this season, our prayer is that you are reminded to let go of anything that would hinder a fresh relationship with God.

Pastor Tim Wilson serves at Park Rapids Assembly of God.