Autumn leaves and white pine needles

Dropping Time

Ever wonder why evergreen trees seem to lose needles in the fall along with deciduous trees?  I thought they were supposed to stay “ever green!” But after strong winds and rain overnight, my driveway was covered in pine needles and oak leaves. The needles aren’t green, either! What’s going on? I knew from walking in evergreen forests that the forest floor is always covered in pine needles, but never gave it much thought. I just thought the needles dropped randomly throughout the year. Today I learned something new!

white pine needle bundleThese needles came from a white pine. We can tell that because each bundle has more than two needles. White pine normally has five needles per bundle, but often one or two fall out of the bundle itself. While leaves on deciduous trees fall after only one growing season, pine needle bundles generally drop after several years. This happens when newer needles provide more food for the tree, and the older needles are no longer producing adequate amounts of food. If you have any pine trees in your area, look to see if there are brown needles visible closer to the trunk of the tree.  Those are the ones getting ready to drop, if they haven’t already.

The trees are preparing for their next season. Shouldn’t we do the same?  Take a look at your life.  Where do you spend your time, your energy, and your resources?  In all of these areas is there evidence of your walk as a follower of Christ? What needs to be dropped, like old pine needles, and replaced with new growth?

What used to feed you, but is no longer helping you grow because you’ve developed beyond that stage? We should all be growing and developing, learning new truths of God and applying them to our lives.  The writer of Hebrews seems a bit frustrated when he says,

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.  You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. ~Hebrews 5:12

Don’t attempt a major overhaul today.  We are usually not able to change as fast as pine trees shed their old growth each fall. But we have this promise:

The Lord will work out His plans for my life–for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. ~Psalm 138:8

Let God have His perfect way in your life, and don’t fight it! Choose one area of your daily walk where you need to shed something, and ask God to show you how to replace it with His newness of life.

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