Science was never really my subject, but I was intrigued recently to learn (or really I suppose to re-learn) something about this process. Scientists explain that this is the time of year when we see the true colors of trees. The reason the leaves change is because chlorophyll stops being produced as a result of decreased sunlight. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in trees that aids the process of photosynthesis - which converts light into energy for plants. Chlorophyll gives trees their green color, and as the chlorophyll is reduced at this time of year, the true individual color of leaves is revealed.
The person who was explaining this process to me then made an interesting observation about our spiritual lives. Just as when the source of energy is removed from a tree and its true colors are revealed, so when an important source of our energy is removed our true colors are revealed. In other words, our character is displayed in the way we face the difficulties and challenges in our lives.
Paul talks about this in II Corinthians 8:2, when he refers to the huge hardships of some churches he has a connection to, and we read (from a very modern translation): "Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor."
So perhaps this is something you might remember during a particularly difficult time (like this time we are in right now, for example), that this could be the time when we are at our most brilliant and inspiring, revealing courage and character and a deep dependence on God to see us through. And perhaps seeing the color of the trees at this time of year will be a reminder of our own true colors.
Grace and Hope to you,