Leaves of Promise

Three dried maple leaves, nestled beside various devotional books, lie on a table in my bedroom, reminding me of a promise.

Last summer I faced one of those painful seasons when a loved one fell to temptation at great personal cost. As I watched shame overtake one who once held a youthful passion for God, I grieved as though the loss were my own. Tears flowed at the most awkward moments.

I observed signs of repentance and bumpy steps of progress as summer matured to fall. But my loved one still struggled with recovery. On my daily walk, I was once again lifting all of this to the Father when He directed my gaze to the carpet of brilliant gold. I picked up one of the small maple leaves, speckled with tawny flecks. I carried it as tears flowed.

My feet shuffled, pressing my weary heart into the walk with mournful prayers, and a brilliant red caught my eye. I added it to the collection as I continued crying out for God to work in the life of this freshly returned prodigal. My mind was filled with “what ifs” and “whys” fueled by fears for the future and sorrows over wasted opportunities.

I bent to retrieve a third leaf and it brought a complete trinity of color. My sorrow-filled reverie was interrupted by the amazing realization of what lay in my hand.

Three leaves, once young and green, only buds just months ago, but now a glorious transformation. The tender epiphany brought me to a standstill.

“If God so clothes the grass of the field . . . He who began a good work will bring it to completion . . . Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory . . .” (Matthew 6:30; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 3:20-21).

If God cares enough to clothe the leaves of fall with such splendor, if He is able to bring such a beautiful transformation to display His glory in them . . .

Can He not do the same for my loved one?  

For His glory?

I’m watching signs of this occur, not as quickly as I would like, so when I get discouraged, when I begin to lose heart—I pick up one of the “promise leaves” and reflect on God’s power, His ability to transform, His care for His own—and my faith is renewed.

Would you like to share a testimony of God’s transforming work in a loved one? It would be an encouragement.


  • Jody Gates

    Thank you for this post and the reminder that God is in control and He knows and sees me and my loved ones who need Him. I continue to look to Him when I become discouraged.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Jody, I love these words from Hebrews 12:

    “. . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin . . .”

    This passage is what I’ve always claimed as my “life verses.” This is the key to victory over self-pity, discouragement, and despair.

    Thanks for sharing, friend!

  • Barb

    Thank you, Kimberly for the suggestion of this post. It is fall right now, so how this is an easy reminder. Today is my lunch date and I am asking God for a chance to renew our relationship. I keep a plaque by our family picture of Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” It is my hope and prayer every time I take a glance and every time I dust that end table. Blessings!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Barb ~

    Thankful that we were able to meet and glad you are connecting here! May God encourage you as you seek to honor Him in all your relationships. Praying for your family to experience Col. 3:12–17.

    Praying for your lunch date! 🙂