Falling Like Leaves To The Ground
There’s an old Over The Rhine song that contains the following lyrics: “I’ll awake to find your love falling like leaves to ground.” I found this true one morning this past week as I was sitting on my front porch, pouring out my heart in prayer.
There is often tension in prayer. Sometimes, when a need feels so desperate, I find it hard to pray because the more I pray for it, the more I realize how desperately I want it. My emotions get caught up in the longing, and what was lying dormant under the surface, is all the sudden front and center.
I felt like this as I prayed that morning. Laying out a specific request before the Lord. Pleading in my spirit for His will to be done, even as I felt the Spirit asking me to let go and release my tight hold on it.
And as I sat there, the love of God blew in with the wind in such a way that His peace flooded my soul, and I felt Him say, “I am for you. I love you. I want what is best for you.” And as that wind blew, a hundred leaves started falling down all around me. I watched the colors explode from the woods in front of me, like a melody of praise as they gently fell to the ground, crunching sounds of praise.
“I’ll awake to find your love falling like leaves to the ground.”
Your love, Oh Lord, is like the leaves falling in harmony to the ground around me.
The ironic thing about this song by Over The Rhine is that it is called “Falling (Death of a Tree)”. The leaves falling is a symbolism of the tree dying, releasing something.
So often life is brought through death.
Love is seen in the death, the surrender, the letting go.
Surrender is hard. It’s the long road, the daily releasing of our wants and desires.
It happened again this week. I ended up in urgent care with Zion. A severe allergic reaction. To what? We are not yet sure. She was outside playing and came in itching her ankle, which was red and swollen to twice it’s size. Within minutes her eye was nearly swollen shut and she had hives all over her body.
Panic took hold of my spirit as I realized I didn’t know where the closest urgent care was. I could barely type in the address to Google my fingers were shaking so bad. By the time we arrived at urgent care, (praise God it was only 2 minutes away), she did not even look like herself. Swollen and red, my four year-old was transfigured before my eyes.
This momma broke down. All I could think about was my post from last week, “A Call To Trust the Lord.” Once again I was being asked to let go, and surrender my trust to Him. As I paced the room, my mind kept saying, “Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear...He will keep you safe.”
It is so much easier to think this, than feel it.
The doctors were fantastic, immediately issuing steroids and keeping a close watch on her oxygen levels. After several hours, we were able to take Zion home, but the shock and fear of it all was still so real and raw.
I found myself in those moments praying desperately. Trying to keep Scripture in my head as my emotions raged out of control.
But here is the beautiful thing about prayer. It awakens us to heart issues we never knew we had. It illuminates the dark recesses of our heart where we don’t truly trust. And, finally, in the words of Priscilla Shirer:
“Prayer wakes us up with mercies from God that are ‘new every morning’ (Lam. 3:23). Prayer is how we start to stretch and feel limber again, feel loose, ready to take on the world. And when we start applying prayer to particular muscle groups...our whole body and our whole being start to percolate with fresh energy, with the blood-pumping results of applied faith.”
Sometimes it takes our most desperate moment to wake up our faith. To actually put into practice what we know in our head. And to realize, so often, how miserably we fail.
I sat alone on the porch the next morning, asking for peace as we continued to keep a close eye on Zion. And the Scripture for the morning I heard read over me was Lamentations 3:22-25:
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.”
That morning, His mercies were afresh. I had Zion sitting beside me on the porch, and I found that when I search for Him, when I pray to Him, I awake to find His love falling like leaves to the ground.